Volume 65, Issue 258/259, Julio/Diciembre 2020

Pablo IrízarOrcid-ID
Pages 395-420

¿La gracia del mérito o el mérito de la gracia? Retórica de la imagen y ambigüedad en los 'sermones' de Agustín

The interplay between grace and merit is a recurrent Augustinian theme that is often discussed in polemical or theoretical works. Only recently has scholarly attention turned to the study of grace and merit in Augustine’s pastoral praxis. As part of this ongoing effort, the present paper offers an analysis of Augustine’s rhetoric of the image in the sermons, with special attention to the effects that the preacher/hearer dialectic produces in the social ‘moral imagination’. It is argued that Augustine’s dialectic preaching on the interplay between grace and freedom results in ambiguity concerning the sphere and boundaries of moral action in the hearer’s ‘moral imagination’. The implication on the social imagination, it is concluded, is a constant fluidity in the foreground of moral agency which either empowers or constraints the boundaries of moral action to the extent that grace and/or merit are emphasized.