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Displaying: 101-120 of 1094 documents

iii. augustine and marriage
101. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 48 > Issue: 1/2
David G. Hunter Augustine’s Doubts on Divorce: Reconsiderations on Remarriage
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Augustine’s teaching on the indissolubility of marriage profoundly influenced the Western Christian tradition on the matter of divorce and remarriage. Augustine famously insisted that while divorce was allowed in limited circumstances (e.g., on account of adultery by one of the spouses), remarriage was prohibited for both the guilty and the innocent parties. Less frequently acknowledged is the degree to which Augustine expressed doubt about the validity of his own teaching. In this essay I argue that even though Augustine offered a strict interpretation of the biblical evidence, he did so only tentatively and often expressed doubts about the adequacy of his own views. The reason for this hesitation, I suggest, was Augustine’s knowledge that the meaning of the scriptural texts was ambiguous at best and that a significant portion of the previous tradition differed from the interpretation he favored.
102. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 48 > Issue: 1/2
John C. Cavadini Reconsidering Augustine on Marriage and Concupiscence
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In the spirit of Augustine’s own “Reconsiderations,” and inspired by Peter Brown’s act of “reconsidering” in the Epilogue to Augustine of Hippo (new edition), this essay offers a reconsideration of Augustine’s work On Marriage and Concupiscence. Key to the reconsideration of this text is a reconsideration of the role of the “sacrament” of marriage in Augustine’s articulation and defense of the goods of marriage and of human sexuality. For Augustine, Julian’s advocacy of concupiscence as an innocent natural desire amounts to a dangerous sentimentalization of fallen human freedom. Such sentimentalization masks the investments of the fallen will in the will to power or, in Augustinian terms, the preference for power over justice. Because sexual concupiscence, as Augustine famously argued, has no natural object, but, rather, is invested only in its own gratification, it is therefore a function of the preference for power over justice without remainder. It is a mark of the Fall that the procreative increase in human community willed by God is now ineluctably linked to the will to power, as though the will to power were the true source of social solidarity. The sacramental good of marriage enables married couples to “use” concupiscence in such a way that all of the goods associated with human sexuality can be experienced as true goods instead of as realities constitutively defined by the will to power.
103. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 48 > Issue: 1/2
Danuta Shanzer Augustine’s Anonyma I and Cornelius’s Concubines: How Philology and Literary Criticism Can Help in Understanding Augustine on Marital Fidelity
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This paper explores the relationship between philology and literary criticism (on the one hand) and history (on the other) via two (para)-marital problems drawn from Augustine’s life. The first is historiographical and concerns Augustine’s relations with Anonyma I, his African concubine, who was featured so famously in the Confessiones. My argument, first published in 2002, that Augustine painted his separation from her in the language of Genesis and saw her as a virtual wife, has not found favor with historians. The episode is used as a test case for comparing the historiographical technique of three Augustine biographers (Bonner, Rosen, Lane Fox). I revisit my reasoning, showing how, sadly, philology and history have grown apart, a phenomenon which, in turn, highlights the need for an increased awareness of and engagement with philology by historians. Philological arguments must be faced and not simply ignored or cherry-picked ad lib. The second problem is historical and prosopographical. Who was the fornicating widower of Epistula 259? In part, I use philological and literary techniques to argue that this widower was indeed Romanianus, and that this letter needs to be dated much earlier than previously thought—even to as early as 396 and the period of Augustine’s co-episcopacy. The tone of the letter is key to understanding it properly. In it, we see an affectionate, urbane, and witty Augustine.
iv. augustine on john
104. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 48 > Issue: 1/2
Johannes Brachtendorf “Et lacrymatus est Jesus” (John 11:35): The Sorrow of Jesus in the Teaching of Augustine and Aquinas on the Affections
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Although the doctrine of the affections constitutes an essential part of both psychology and ethics for Classical Greek philosophy, the passion of sorrow was seldom discussed. The Bible, by contrast, frequently mentions the feeling of sorrow, and Christianity, unlike Stoic ethical ideals, assigns sorrow a positive significance—at least to a degree.While it is true that the Gospels generally prefer to paint a picture of Christ as a quiet teacher and master, a few pericopes—especially within the Gospel of John—narrate the sorrow of Jesus in some detail. Integrating the Johannine depictions of Jesus’s sorrow proved quite a challenge for patristic and medieval exegetes, including Augustine and Thomas Aquinas. Both thinkers wrote a Commentary on the Gospel of John and, in their systematic works, both treated the emotions in a principled and philosophical manner. Having engaged Classical Greek and Hellenistic theories on the emotions, Augustine and Aquinas went on to develop a uniquely Christian understanding of the passiones animae, which, in turn, became paradigmatic for the generations that followed. Focusing on their respective commentaries on the Gospel of John, this essay explains what the passiones animae are and why they were seen as an ethical problem in the patristic and medieval periods. It highlights the connection between Augustine and Aquinas as well as their respective contributions both to the doctrine of affections in general and to Christianity’s understanding of sorrow in particular.
105. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 48 > Issue: 1/2
Volker Henning Drecoll Christology and Anti-Heretical Strategies in the In Iohannis euangelium tractatus
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Scholars agree that Christology is at the center of the In Iohannis euangelium tractatus. In his exegesis of the Gospel of John, Augustine particularly highlights the human nature of the Incarnated, even as he integrates Trinitarian arguments (which he had developed earlier in his De trinitate) as a cornerstone of his homiletic teaching. This may have been important for the later reception of Augustine’s Trinitarian thought. Christology is clearly present throughout the various parts of the work. The differences between the parts can be traced to the various contexts in which they were composed and/or delivered: e.g., the Anti-Donatist controversy that is behind the first sermons, and the Anti-Pelagian and Anti-Homean controversies that often fueled the later ones. Sometimes anti-heretical strategies are used as a crucial step for advancing the teaching of the preacher (not least because they can directly promote knowledge of the fundamentals of the faith), even if the heresy being opposed is of no immediate relevance or importance to the North Africa of Augustine’s day (e.g., that of the “Sabellians” or the “Apollinarians”). Surprisingly, the second half of the work (consisting as it does of shorter homilies or, better, drafts of homilies) contains various passages in which anti-heretical strategies were clearly pursued. It is particularly Augustine’s Anti-Pelagian strategy that provides us with clues regarding the historical context of this part of the work.
106. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 48 > Issue: 1/2
Michael Cameron Augustine and John’s Gospel from Conversion to Confessiones
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How did John’s Gospel draw and compel Augustine before and during the composition of Confessiones? Analyzing references to John in Augustine’s works from his embrace of Nicene Christianity to the writing of Confessiones, this paper finds a growing (and Johannine-based) emphasis on the importance of Christ’s humanity. Augustine strategically invokes two texts in Confessiones’ crucial seventh book: John 1:14, “the Word was made flesh,” and John 14:6, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” This paper considers three features: First, how the rhetorical device of anticipation (prolepsis) allows Augustine simultaneously to unify his developing Christological perspective and to build drama into his conversion narrative. Second, how the structure of Confessiones, which first works to understand divine transcendence and then seeks to relate that divine transcendence back to time, emphasizes the central role played by the Gospel of John in advancing Augustine’s conversion story. Third and finally, how invocations of John’s Gospel typify the way that, for the Augustine of Confessiones, reading scripture had become the means of achieving new spiritual self-comprehension. Texts from John were not mere receptors or reflectors of spiritual forces that moved Augustine toward conversion, but, rather, powerful agents of conversion in their own right.
107. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 47 > Issue: 2
Fr. Allan D. Fitzgerald, O.S.A., Jonathan P. Yates, Ph.D. A Letter from the Editors
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108. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 47 > Issue: 2
Eugene R. Schlesinger The Sacrificial Ecclesiology of City of God 10
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In book 10 of City of God, Augustine appeals to the notion of true sacrifice in order to counteract the attraction of pagan worship. This appeal to the concept of sacrifice gives a distinct shape to the Christology and ecclesiology he develops in this book. Set against this polemical horizon, and within the context of his wider thought, it becomes clear that sacrifice is itself soteriological motif for Augustine. The work it does in this context is to serve as another way of describing the return of humanity to God through the Incarnate Christ. The cross, the Eucharist, the moral life, and the church itself are all identified as instances of the one true sacrifice of Christ. In this way, sacrifice provides an integrative motif for discussing Augustinian Christology, ecclesiology, sacramental theology, and soteriology.
109. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 47 > Issue: 2
James K. Lee Babylon Becomes Jerusalem: The Transformation of the Two Cities in Augustine’s Enarrationes in Psalmos
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This study draws attention to an overlooked dimension of Augustine’s doctrine of the two cities in Enarrationes in Psalmos, wherein the earthly city is transformed into the heavenly city during the present age. In contrast to scholarship that overemphasizes the eschatological aspect of the two cities at the expense of the church’s transformation, this study demonstrates how Augustine’s doctrine is not limited to an eschatological grammar of separation, but employs the figure of the two cities in order to develop an ecclesiology of transformation. For Augustine, the church is built up as the city of God on pilgrimage, precisely by the celebration of the sacraments. A one-sided analysis that focuses solely upon separation from an eschatological perspective neglects the richness of Augustine’s teaching on the transformation of the earthly city of Babylon into the heavenly city of Jerusalem.
110. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 47 > Issue: 2
James F. Patterson Augustine’s Fig Tree (Confessiones 8.12.28)
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This article simultaneously expands and refines the interpretive space within which we understand Augustine’s statement that he lay down under a fig tree when he converted to Christianity in 386 (conf. 8.12.28). It rejects the claim that this fig tree is a reference to Nathanael’s fig tree at John 1:48 on both philological and contextual grounds. Nathanael is an Israelite in whom there is no deceit (John 1:47), but this is inconsistent with the Augustine whose life is narrated in conf. 1–8. Instead, Augustine’s fig tree is best interpreted in the context of the fig leaves of Gen. 3:7, the withered fig tree of Matt. 21:18–22 and Mark 11:12–14 and 20–25, and the good and bad trees of Matt. 7:15–20 and Luke 6:43–45. Together, these biblical passages indicate that the Augustine who lay down under the fig tree was still a liar by profession and deceived in his philosophical beliefs. Thus, his departure from the tree is symbolic of his conversion from the mendacious life he once led as a Manichee and rhetorician.
111. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 47 > Issue: 2
Sarah Stewart-Kroeker World-Weariness and Augustine’s Eschatological Ordering of Emotions in enarratio in Psalmum 36
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Augustine’s homiletical exhortations display a strong eschatological emphasis in his approach to cultivating rightly ordered emotions. According to critics such as Hannah Arendt, Martha Nussbaum, and Thomas Dixon, this orientation risks denigrating the earthly life and its attendant emotions, while also promoting a crippling resignation to suffering. This article discusses Augustine’s eschatological frame for ordering the emotions through a focused treatment of en. Ps. 36 (particularly the first homily) in conversation with Nussbaum’s critique in particular. In en. Ps. 36.1, Augustine deploys eschatological rhetoric to discourage the believer’s envious response to a prosperous, profligate neighbor. This entails disposing the believer in weariness toward life’s temporal disparities and exhorting the believer to work in love to alleviate suffering with a view to heavenly flourishing. In this sense, a disposition of “world-weariness” works in concert with eschatological hope to rightly order both emotion and action in this present world.
book reviews and books received
112. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 47 > Issue: 2
Adam Ployd Matthew W. Bates, The Birth of the Trinity: Jesus, God, and Spirit in New Testament and Early Christian Interpretations of the Old Testament
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113. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 47 > Issue: 2
J. Aaron Simmons John D. Caputo, Hoping Against Hope (Confessions of a Postmodern Pilgrim)
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114. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 47 > Issue: 2
Allan Fitzgerald, O.S.A. Mark F. M. Clavier, Eloquent Wisdom: Rhetoric, Cosmology and Delight in the Theology of Augustine of Hippo
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115. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 47 > Issue: 2
Phillip W. Schoenberg Ryan Coyne, Heidegger’s Confessions: The Remains of Saint Augustine in Being and Time and Beyond
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116. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 47 > Issue: 2
Bernard G. Prusak Frederick J. Crosson, Ten Philosophical Essays in the Christian Tradition
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117. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 47 > Issue: 2
Michael Minch Teresa Delgado, John Doody, and Kim Paffenroth, eds., Augustine and Social Justice
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118. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 47 > Issue: 2
Joseph Lenow Paul Rigby, The Theology of Augustine’s Confessions
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119. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 47 > Issue: 2
Kevin L. Hughes James K. A. Smith, You Are What You Love: The Spiritual Power of Habit
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120. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 47 > Issue: 2
Karen Kilby Susannah Ticciati, A New Apophaticism: Augustine and the Redemption of Signs
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