Volume 63, Issue 250/251, Julio/Diciembre 2018

Marianne Djuth
Pages 317-330

Agustín sobre la metafísica de la creación y los milagros

This essay explores Augustine philosophical conception of miracles in the context of a longstanding debate on the status of miracles expressed primarily in the De Genesi ad Litteram and De Trinitate. Over a half century ago P. D. Vooght remarked that Augustine “had opened up some profound and subtle views on the problem of miracles.” Dissatisfied with De Vooght’s conclusions, John Mourant and Leopold Tanganagba subsequently offered interpretations of their own on Augustine’s conception of miracles. Because Augustine’s conception of miracles is complex, unsystematic, and open to further consideration, it deserves additional scrutiny as no satisfactory answer has yet been found. I begin the essay by briefly examining the significance of Augustine’s definition of a miracle in De utiltate credendi. This definition functions as a starting point for an exploration of the doctrine of seminal reasons and its relation to divine and natural causality. The difficulty of understanding Augustine’s philosophy of miracles against this background calis to mind four possible interpretations of miracles found in De Vooght’s article. These interpretations in turn provide the focal point for providing a new assessment of Augustine’s philosophy of miracles in the final section of the essay.