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st. augustine lecture 2017
1. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 49 > Issue: 2
Catherine Conybeare The Creation of Eve
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Why was Eve created? In De Genesi ad litteram, Augustine notoriously gives the answer that it was only causa pariendi, “for the sake of childbearing.” Other late antique interpreters of Genesis emphasize the purpose of conjugal union and domesticity. But a fuller reading of Augustine’s thoughts on the subject reveals the moment between the creation of Eve and the fall as pregnant with extraordinary possibility. This moment, of indeterminate length—for humans had not yet fallen into time—provides an opportunity for Augustine to unleash his theological imagination. This lecture is about paradise. It eschews the customary focus on Adam’s paradisal desire to think about Eve’s beginning. Augustine uses this beginning to emphasize the importance of sociality, and of marriage as its most perfect realization. He takes the quotidian miracle of childbirth as our closest intimation of God’s act of creation. And he imagines new meanings for the trinity of Villanova’s motto: ueritas, unitas, and caritas.
articles
2. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 49 > Issue: 2
Jordan Joseph Wales Contemplative Compassion: Gregory the Great’s Development of Augustine’s Views on Love of Neighbor and Likeness to God
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Gregory the Great depicts himself as a contemplative who, as bishop of Rome, was compelled to become an administrator and pastor. His theological response to this existential tension illuminates the vexed questions of his relationships to predecessors and of his legacy. Gregory develops Augustine’s thought in such a way as to satisfy John Cassian’s position that contemplative vision is grounded in the soul’s likeness to the unity of Father and Son. For Augustine, “mercy” lovingly lifts the neighbor toward life in God. Imitating God’s own love for humankind, this mercy likens the Christian to God’s essential goodness and, by this likeness, prepares him or her for the vision of God, which Augustine expects not now but only in the next life. For Augustine, the exercise of mercy can—when useful—involve a shared affection or understanding. Gregory makes this shared affection essential to the neighborly love that he calls “compassion.” In this affective fellowship, Gregory finds a human translation of the passionless unity of Father and Son—so that, for Gregory, compassion becomes the immediate basis for and consequence of seeing God—even in this life. Compassion does not degrade; rather, it retrenches the perfection of contemplation. Reconciling compassionate activity and contemplative vision, this creative renegotiation of Augustine and Cassian both answered Gregory’s own aspirations and gave to the tumultuous post-Imperial West a needed account of worldly affairs as spiritual affairs.
3. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 49 > Issue: 2
Mateusz Stróżyński Spiritual Exercise in the Proem to Augustine’s Confessions
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This article investigates the relationship between Neoplatonism and Christianity in Augustine’s conception of spiritual exercises. It focuses on the proem to the Confessions, where, in nuce, Augustine mentions many of the great themes of his work. The relationship between Neoplatonism and Christianity in this section seems to be complex, dynamic, and far from “either / or,” a detail which confirms some trends in the recent literature. This article contributes to better understanding of Augustine’s spiritual exercises as well as to the long-running dispute about the role played by Neoplatonism within Augustine’s Christian philosophy.
4. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 49 > Issue: 2
Gerald P. Boersma Jerusalem as Caelum Caeli in Augustine
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The city of Jerusalem is the focal point of Augustine’s exegesis of the Psalms of Ascent. In Enarratio in Psalmum 121, Augustine presents Jerusalem as a collective unity contemplating God’s being. The city is thoroughly established in peace and love and participates intimately in the divine life. The essential features of the Jerusalem described in Enarratio in Psalmum 121 align neatly with the created intellectual realm of contemplation (the caelum caeli) outlined in Confessiones Book 12. Both texts envisage a city that participates in the divine idipsum. This city is a creature so intimate with God’s being that its creaturely mutability is checked. Both texts articulate this created intellectual realm as participating in God’s eternity. In both cases, this participation is realized in contemplation: through the constancy of its vision, it is conformed to that which it sees. Finally, both the aeterna Ierusalem and the caelum caeli are a communion—in fact, a city—united in love. In Enarratio in Psalmum 121, Augustine urges his congregants to join themselves to this edifice that is still under construction; in the Confessiones, he presents himself as a pilgrim groaning and longing with desire to be part of the Jerusalem that is above, his mother and patria.
book reviews and books received
5. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 49 > Issue: 2
Chase Padusniak Todd Breyfogle, On Creativity, Liberty, Love, and the Beauty of the Law
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6. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 49 > Issue: 2
Frederick Van Fleteren Norbert Fischer and Jakub Sirovátka, eds., Vernunftreligion und Offenbarungsglaube. Zur Eröterung einer seit Kant verscharften Problematik
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7. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 49 > Issue: 2
Lee C. Barrett Robin Lane Fox, Augustine: Conversions and Confessions
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8. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 49 > Issue: 2
Thomas Clemmons Giosuè Ghisalberti, Augustine’s Passions: His Transformation from a Roman Citizen to a Catholic Bishop, 354–401
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9. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 49 > Issue: 2
Sean Hannan Nonna Verna Harrison and David G. Hunter, Suffering and Evil in Early Christian Thought
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10. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 49 > Issue: 2
Jesse Couenhoven William E. Mann, God, Belief, and Perplexity
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11. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 49 > Issue: 2
Mark DelCogliano Brian Matz, Gregory of Nazianzus
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12. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 49 > Issue: 2
Adam Ployd Richard Miles, ed., The Donatist Schism: Controversy and Contexts
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13. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 49 > Issue: 2
Joel C. Elowsky Thomas C. Oden, The Rebirth of African Orthodoxy: Return to Foundations
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14. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 49 > Issue: 2
Alexander H. Pierce Jared Ortiz, “You Made Us For Yourself”: Creation in St. Augustine’s Confessions
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15. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 49 > Issue: 2
Margot Neger Cristiana Sogno, Bradley K. Storin, and Edward J. Watts, eds., Late Antique Letter Collections: A Critical Introduction and Reference Guide
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16. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 49 > Issue: 2
Ann Hartle Benjamin J. Wood, The Augustinian Alternative: Religious Skepticism and the Search for a Liberal Politics
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17. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 49 > Issue: 2
Books Received
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articles
18. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 49 > Issue: 1
Anne-Isabelle Bouton-Touboulic Body Language in Augustine’s Confessiones and De doctrina christiana
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This article examines the role of bodily expressions within Augustine’s theory of signs and language. Philosophical reflection, rhetorical practice, and his own homiletical experience all led Augustine to consider the role played by the body in communicative acts. The invesitgation is sharpened via careful analysis of the rhetorical category of actio and close readings of particular passages that are relevant for Augustine’s understanding of the process of learning language in general and of learning the catechism in particular. The centrality of bodiy signs for the dramatization of the famous scene of Augustine’s conversion in the Milanese garden is also discussed: here, voice and physiognomy express the tragedy of the will, even as bodily signs (taken as natural signs) prove crucial to Augustine’s particular retelling of the story.
19. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 49 > Issue: 1
Adam Ployd Non poena sed causa: Augustine’s Anti-Donatist Rhetoric of Martyrdom
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This article examines Augustine’s anti-Donatist claim that it is not the punishment but the cause (non poena sed causa) that makes a martyr. Augustine’s non poena sed causa argument arises as part of the larger rhetoric of martyrdom that recent scholarship has highlighted in late antiquity. I argue here that a more specific look at classical rhetorical techniques can provide a better understanding of what Augustine is up to in his particular rhetoric of martyrdom. To that end, after providing an overview of North African martyr discourse, I turn to forensic rhetoric and issue theory as described in Cicero and Quintilian. I show that two types of forensic arguments—one on the issue of definition and other on the contested interpretation of a legal text—shaped Augustine’s non poena sed causa approach to the Donatists’ claims to be the church of the martyrs.
20. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 49 > Issue: 1
Rachel Early Love of Neighbor by Way of the Temporal Dispensation in St. Augustine
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This article takes as its point of departure the episode from Confessiones 4 in which a mature Augustine questions his earlier distraught reaction to the death of a friend. In order to place Augustine’s account of this episode within a broader context, I discuss, in the first part of the article, Augustine’s teaching on love of neighbor in De doctrina christiana. The second part of the article proposes an analogy between Augustine’s views of how one ought to be related to one’s neighbor, and his views of how one ought to be related to the sacraments, and particularly to the Eucharist. By seeking to reconcile Augustine’s treatment of how we ought to love our neighbors with his treatment of the Eucharist, and of the Eschaton, I suggest how the reader might understand love of neighbor in Augustine’s thought as having both a temporary aspect and a lasting aspect.