Augustinus

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

Matthew Drever
Pages 331-347

La Trinidad, el amor al prójimo y el Cuerpo de Cristo

Augustine’s late writings on grace and predestination raise myriad problems, among them what place the Bishop of Hippo envisions for ethical relations toward others. Where does the second great commandment -love your neighbor- fit into his account of grace? Does it find a constitutive place or is it drowned out by his claims on grace and predestination? This article takes up these enduring questions by examining the trinitarian framework in which Augustine develops his account of the body of Christ. Here we will see that our inclusion in Christ’s body involves not simply an outward reforming of our love toward the other but also a relocating of it within Christ’s body where the discrete separation between the other and myself is bridged and united through the Spirit’s love. Augustine’s model of the totus Christus offers here not only a proleptic eschatological vision of heaven to come, but also places an ethical demand on the historical church. We might say that our genuine humanity, which is being formed through our participation in Christ’s body, entails also a new and redeemed type of existence lived in and through our love of God and neighbor.