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Augustinian Studies

Volume 49, Issue 2, 2018

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Displaying: 1-10 of 17 documents


st. augustine lecture 2017
1. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 49 > Issue: 2
Catherine Conybeare The Creation of Eve
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Why was Eve created? In De Genesi ad litteram, Augustine notoriously gives the answer that it was only causa pariendi, “for the sake of childbearing.” Other late antique interpreters of Genesis emphasize the purpose of conjugal union and domesticity. But a fuller reading of Augustine’s thoughts on the subject reveals the moment between the creation of Eve and the fall as pregnant with extraordinary possibility. This moment, of indeterminate length—for humans had not yet fallen into time—provides an opportunity for Augustine to unleash his theological imagination. This lecture is about paradise. It eschews the customary focus on Adam’s paradisal desire to think about Eve’s beginning. Augustine uses this beginning to emphasize the importance of sociality, and of marriage as its most perfect realization. He takes the quotidian miracle of childbirth as our closest intimation of God’s act of creation. And he imagines new meanings for the trinity of Villanova’s motto: ueritas, unitas, and caritas.
articles
2. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 49 > Issue: 2
Jordan Joseph Wales Contemplative Compassion: Gregory the Great’s Development of Augustine’s Views on Love of Neighbor and Likeness to God
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Gregory the Great depicts himself as a contemplative who, as bishop of Rome, was compelled to become an administrator and pastor. His theological response to this existential tension illuminates the vexed questions of his relationships to predecessors and of his legacy. Gregory develops Augustine’s thought in such a way as to satisfy John Cassian’s position that contemplative vision is grounded in the soul’s likeness to the unity of Father and Son. For Augustine, “mercy” lovingly lifts the neighbor toward life in God. Imitating God’s own love for humankind, this mercy likens the Christian to God’s essential goodness and, by this likeness, prepares him or her for the vision of God, which Augustine expects not now but only in the next life. For Augustine, the exercise of mercy can—when useful—involve a shared affection or understanding. Gregory makes this shared affection essential to the neighborly love that he calls “compassion.” In this affective fellowship, Gregory finds a human translation of the passionless unity of Father and Son—so that, for Gregory, compassion becomes the immediate basis for and consequence of seeing God—even in this life. Compassion does not degrade; rather, it retrenches the perfection of contemplation. Reconciling compassionate activity and contemplative vision, this creative renegotiation of Augustine and Cassian both answered Gregory’s own aspirations and gave to the tumultuous post-Imperial West a needed account of worldly affairs as spiritual affairs.
3. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 49 > Issue: 2
Mateusz Stróżyński Spiritual Exercise in the Proem to Augustine’s Confessions
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This article investigates the relationship between Neoplatonism and Christianity in Augustine’s conception of spiritual exercises. It focuses on the proem to the Confessions, where, in nuce, Augustine mentions many of the great themes of his work. The relationship between Neoplatonism and Christianity in this section seems to be complex, dynamic, and far from “either / or,” a detail which confirms some trends in the recent literature. This article contributes to better understanding of Augustine’s spiritual exercises as well as to the long-running dispute about the role played by Neoplatonism within Augustine’s Christian philosophy.
4. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 49 > Issue: 2
Gerald P. Boersma Jerusalem as Caelum Caeli in Augustine
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The city of Jerusalem is the focal point of Augustine’s exegesis of the Psalms of Ascent. In Enarratio in Psalmum 121, Augustine presents Jerusalem as a collective unity contemplating God’s being. The city is thoroughly established in peace and love and participates intimately in the divine life. The essential features of the Jerusalem described in Enarratio in Psalmum 121 align neatly with the created intellectual realm of contemplation (the caelum caeli) outlined in Confessiones Book 12. Both texts envisage a city that participates in the divine idipsum. This city is a creature so intimate with God’s being that its creaturely mutability is checked. Both texts articulate this created intellectual realm as participating in God’s eternity. In both cases, this participation is realized in contemplation: through the constancy of its vision, it is conformed to that which it sees. Finally, both the aeterna Ierusalem and the caelum caeli are a communion—in fact, a city—united in love. In Enarratio in Psalmum 121, Augustine urges his congregants to join themselves to this edifice that is still under construction; in the Confessiones, he presents himself as a pilgrim groaning and longing with desire to be part of the Jerusalem that is above, his mother and patria.
book reviews and books received
5. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 49 > Issue: 2
Chase Padusniak Todd Breyfogle, On Creativity, Liberty, Love, and the Beauty of the Law
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6. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 49 > Issue: 2
Frederick Van Fleteren Norbert Fischer and Jakub Sirovátka, eds., Vernunftreligion und Offenbarungsglaube. Zur Eröterung einer seit Kant verscharften Problematik
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7. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 49 > Issue: 2
Lee C. Barrett Robin Lane Fox, Augustine: Conversions and Confessions
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8. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 49 > Issue: 2
Thomas Clemmons Giosuè Ghisalberti, Augustine’s Passions: His Transformation from a Roman Citizen to a Catholic Bishop, 354–401
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9. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 49 > Issue: 2
Sean Hannan Nonna Verna Harrison and David G. Hunter, Suffering and Evil in Early Christian Thought
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10. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 49 > Issue: 2
Jesse Couenhoven William E. Mann, God, Belief, and Perplexity
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