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1. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 45 > Issue: 2
Fr. Allan D. Fitzgerald, O.S.A., Jonathan P. Yates, Ph.D. A Letter from the Editors
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2. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 45 > Issue: 2
Tarmo Toom Augustine’s Case for the Multiplicity of Meanings
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Augustine was a convinced proponent of the multiplicity of meanings. He had both theoretical and theological reasons for affirming the phenomenon of polysemy. This article deduces seven themes from Augustine’s exegetical practice and from his discussions of the principles of his exegesis, and employs these as Augustine’s arguments for the multiplicity of meanings. Augustine acknowledges the legitimacy of the many senses of the Word of God. Because scripture is an ambiguous linguistic reality, it constitutes a system of (linguistic) signs and it reuses earlier texts to convey new meanings. Augustine’s theological reasons for the multiplicity of meanings include the beliefs that human authorial intention is complemented by the primary divine intention, that scripture has to be interpreted Christologically, that scripture’s interpretations have to be spiritually useful, and that the texts of scripture are part of the new theological/literary context of the canon.
3. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 45 > Issue: 2
Brett W. Smith Complex Authorial Intention in Augustine’s Hermeneutics
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Augustine held that scripture could have multiple true meanings, and scholars of Augustine have given this topic considerable treatment. Some have recognized the importance of divine authorial intention in this matter, but the relevance of ancient semantics to Augustine’s hermeneutics has not received sufficient attention. Ancient speakers would often explain a concept in varied ways that could all be considered true. This practice created the possibility that an author could intend for certain terms to be understood in multiple ways. I call this a complex authorial intention. After describing some of the prominent views on Augustine’s multiple meanings of scripture, I will establish the concept of complex authorial intention from ancient semantic practice. In the light of these first two sections I will proceed to analyze three key texts in Augustine’s corpus: Confessions 12.30.41 and 13.24.37, as well as De Doctrina Christiana 3.2.2. I will argue that Augustine saw complex divine authorial intention as a theoretical justification for the multiplicity of meanings in scripture and that this view sets objective limits on the range of possible meanings.
4. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 45 > Issue: 2
Fr. David Vincent Meconi, S.J. Ravishing Ruin: Self-Loathing in Saint Augustine
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Why are we sometimes drawn to our own pain, fascinated with our own melancholy? How is it that we can choose to injure ourselves and to rebel against our innate hunger for wholeness and perfection? This article discusses St. Augustine’s understanding of self-loathing and how it stems from the Fall and a consequent false love of self. Augustine analyzed sin as a way of establishing myself as my own sovereign, creating an idol which must eventually be pulled down if I am to be made whole. For Augustine, then, sin destroys that which had already become tarnished through his own bad choices. However, he also taught that the incarnate Word steps into this vicious cycle of self-destruction in order to call each person into a conscious and confessional relationship with himself.
5. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 45 > Issue: 2
Han-luen Kantzer Komline Grace, Free Will, and the Lord’s Prayer: Cyprian’s Importance for the “Augustinian” Doctrine of Grace
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Beginning in the second phase of the Pelagian controversy, Augustine repeatedly refers to Cyprian’s little work on the Lord’s Prayer to defend his perspective on grace. In this text, Augustine claims, one finds an unambiguous precedent for his controversial teaching. The following article assesses the validity and significance of Augustine’s appeal to Cyprian. First, I show that this appeal offered obvious strategic advantages, which may help to explain why Augustine cited Cyprian by name more than he did any other author from the early church, excepting only the apostle Paul. I next turn to evaluate the material basis for Augustine’s appeal to Cyprian, showing that Cyprian does indeed support Augustine’s case against a more “Pelagian” view of grace in three major areas. Finally, I argue for the possibility that Cyprian’s work influenced Augustine’s mature thinking on grace. In sum, this article shows the crucial importance of Cyprian’s On the Lord’s Prayer for Augustine’s view of grace, which courses through the heart of his theology. Augustine is no David who takes on the “Pelagian” opposition alone. Like David, however, he does pluck a lethal set of stones from a stream that has worn them smooth. Augustine’s stream flows from Cyprian.
6. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 45 > Issue: 2
Isabelle Bochet Réflexions sur l’exégèse figurative d’Augustin: Christ Meets Me Everywhere: Augustine’s Early Figurative Exegesis de M. Cameron
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L’article présente et discute le livre de Michael Cameron, Christ Meets Me Everywhere. Augustine’s Early Figurative Exegesis. Dans cet ouvrage, M. Cameron expose la manière dont Augustin a élaboré sa méthode d’interprétation figurative de l’Ancien Testament, depuis ses premières œuvres jusqu’en 400 environ, c’est-à-dire jusqu’à la rédaction des Confessions, du De catechizandis rudibus et du Contra Faustum manichaeum. La force du livre est d’articuler la christologie d’Augustin à sa lecture figurative des Écritures: la manière dont Augustin a peu à peu compris la profondeur de la médiation du Christ, à la fois Dieu et homme, grâce à la lecture de Paul et des Psaumes, est à lier à l’importance qu’il donne, dans l’Écriture, aux signa translata. M. Cameron montre bien le rôle qu’a joué Ambroise en permettant à Augustin de rattacher la Bible au cadre rhétorique qui lui était familier; il serait fécond de compléter ses remarques en analysant aussi la pratique exégétique d’Ambroise sur quelques exemples et en précisant le rôle de Tyconius dans la formation de l’exégèse figurative d’Augustin. Le jugement que porte M. Cameron sur le De doctrina christiana qu’il juge “expérimental et incomplet à bien des titres” mérite sans doute d’être un peu nuancé.
book reviews and books received
7. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 45 > Issue: 2
Helene Russell Eros and Self-Emptying: The Intersections of Augustine and Kierkegaard. By Lee C. Barrett, III.
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8. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 45 > Issue: 2
Byard Bennett Augustine’s Manichaean Dilemma, 2: Making a “Catholic” Self, 388–401 C.E. By Jason David BeDuhn
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9. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 45 > Issue: 2
Ronald E. Heine Trinität und Kosmos: Zur Gotteslehre des Origenes. By Christoph Bruns
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10. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 45 > Issue: 2
Phillip Cary Reason, Faith and Otherness in Neoplatonic and Early Christian Thought. By Kevin Corrigan
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