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1. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 50 > Issue: 1
Brian Dunkle, S.J. “Made Worthy of the Holy Spirit”: A Hymn of Ambrose in Augustine’s Nature and Grace
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Among the “patristic” authorities that Augustine invokes near the end of his anti-Pelagian work De natura et gratia is a couplet from Ambrose’s hymn, “Iam Surgit Hora Tertia.” While these lines have been cited as evidence of the hymn’s authenticity, few have examined their function and meaning in the context of the treatise. I argue that the lines illustrate Augustine’s distinctive use of authorities in De natura et gratia and that this use is driven by two primary motives: first, Augustine wants to counter Pelagius’s use and citation of authorities in Pelagius’s work De natura; and, second, Augustine wants to advance his own views on the necessity of the grace of Christ. Turning to “Iam Surgit,” I first show that Augustine seeks to counter a potential Pelagian “abuse” of the hymn, and especially the way the Pelagians might exploit its reference to “merit.” I then speculate that Augustine uses the hymn to offer implicit support for his own understanding of grace since, according to his reading, the source of forgiveness in Ambrose’s hymn is the gratia Christi. Augustine thus shows not only that Ambrose’s words are media, that is, equally supportive of both sides in the dispute, but also that they advance Augustine’s developing views on the priority of the grace of Christ in the prayers of humanity.
2. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 50 > Issue: 1
Veronica Roberts Ogle Therapeutic Deception: Cicero and Augustine on the Myth of Philosophic Happiness
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While many scholars have explored the Ciceronian roots of Augustine’s thought, the influence of De Finibus on De ciuitate dei has, as yet, remained unexamined. Dismissed by Testard as abstract and scholastic, De Finibus has long remained in the shadow of Cicero’s other work of moral philosophy, Tusculanae Dispuationes. This article reconsiders the nature of De Finibus and demonstrates its importance for De ciuitate dei. It begins by arguing that the dialogue is actually a meta-commentary on philosophic dogmatism, showing how each of the schools that Cicero’s interlocutors represent—i.e., the Epicureans, Stoics, and Peripatetics—claim certainty about the Wise Man’s happiness. At the heart of the dialogue’s drama is Cicero’s skepticism about this claim. This article then shows how Augustine picks up on Cicero’s explanation as to why the adherents of these schools cling so tightly to their belief in the Wise Man’s happiness. Echoing Cicero, Augustine suggests that the reason for this belief is therapeutic. Going beyond Cicero, however, he diagnoses it as a symptom of pride, arguing that what the philosophers really need is not a model of self-sufficient virtue, but a Mediator. The article ends by briefly considering how Cicero might respond to Augustine’s position.
3. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 50 > Issue: 1
Sean Hannan Augustine’s Time of Death in City of God 13
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“Only a living person can be a dying one,” writes Augustine in De ciuitate dei 13.9. For Augustine, this strange fact offers us an occasion for reflection. If we are indeed racing toward the end on a cursus ad mortem, when do we pass the finish line? A living person is “in life” (in uita), while a dead one is post mortem. But as ciu. 13.11 asks: is anyone ever in morte, “in death?” This question must be asked alongside an earlier one, which had motivated Augustine’s struggle in Confessiones 11.14.17 to make sense of time from the very beginning: quid est enim tempus? What is at stake here is whether or not there is such a thing as an instant of death: a moment when someone is no longer alive but not yet dead, a moment when they are “dying” (moriens) in the present tense. If we want to understand Augustine’s question about the time of death in ciu. 13, then we have to frame it in terms of the interrogation of time proper in conf. 11.
4. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 50 > Issue: 1
Sarah Stewart-Kroeker A Wordless Cry of Jubilation: Joy and the Ordering of the Emotions
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Joy is an affective state that, unlike fear and grief, has a certain continuity with the anticipated affective dispositions of heavenly life: for those who long for the heavenly “life of felicity,” joy responds to the same object of love and contemplation, i.e., God, whether they are on earth or in heaven. But the mortal, finite believer encounters certain obstacles to full vision and to sustained contemplation in this earthly life. This fact reveals fundamental difficulties in tracing the continuity Augustine posits in De ciuitate dei 14.9 across earthly and heavenly emotions, especially given the differences he also posits between earthly (temporal) and heavenly (eternal) states. This article examines how Augustine describes the affective (and, in particular, experiential) qualities of believers’ earthly and heavenly joy and jubilation with particular attention to the (dis)continuities between their temporal and eternal expressions in both speech and song. I argue that, by transcending the temporally-spoken word, the non-verbal cry or song comes closest to matching the expression of heavenly joy as it responds to the God who surpasses utterance, and whose embrace fulfills understanding and elicits inexhaustible love and praise.
book reviews and books received
5. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 50 > Issue: 1
Joseph Lenow Henry Chadwick, Selected Writings, edited by William G. Rusch
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6. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 50 > Issue: 1
Danny Perrier Lynn H. Cohick and Amy Brown Hughes, Christian Women in the Patristic World: Their Influence, Authority, and Legacy in the Second through Fifth Centuries
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7. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 50 > Issue: 1
Denis Fortin Peter B. Ely, Adam and Eve in Scripture, Theology, and Literature: Sin, Compassion, and Forgiveness
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8. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 50 > Issue: 1
Amy D. Stackhouse Stephen Greenblatt, The Rise and Fall of Adam and Eve
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9. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 50 > Issue: 1
Alexander H. Pierce Isabella Image, The Human Condition in Hilary of Poitiers: The Will and Original Sin between Origen and Augustine
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10. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 50 > Issue: 1
Jonathan D. Teubner Peter Iver Kaufman, Augustine’s Leaders
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