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81. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 50 > Issue: 2
Charles G. Kim, Jr.

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In a curious turn of phrase that he offered to a particular congregation, Augustine claims that a belch became the Gospel: “Ipsa ructatio euangelium est.” The reference comes at the end of a longer digression in Sermon (s.) 341 [Dolbeau 22] about how John the Evangelist, a fisherman, came to produce his Gospel, namely he belched out what he drank in. The use of a mundane word like ructare in an oration concerning a divine being contravenes a rhetorical prohibition known as tapinosis. This kind of speech was prohibited in ancient oratory because it humiliated the subject of the declamation, and this was especially problematic if the subject was divine. According to Augustine’s reading of scripture, if the divine willfully chose to be humiliated in order to teach humility to others by example, then the person delivering a speech about the divine could contravene this oratorical vice. This article argues that Augustine does precisely that in s. 341 by examining the reasons for Augustine’s use of the terms ructare and iumentum. Specifically, it traces their usage in various Latin texts from Cicero to Plautus to the Psalms. It argues that the virtue of humility is manifest in the very language which Augustine deploys all along the way.
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82. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 50 > Issue: 2
Zachary Yuzwa

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83. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 50 > Issue: 2
Kate Wilkinson

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84. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 50 > Issue: 2
Raymond Hain

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85. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 50 > Issue: 2
Erika Kidd

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86. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 50 > Issue: 2
Jennifer Hevelone-Harper

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87. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 50 > Issue: 2
J. Columcille Dever

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88. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 50 > Issue: 2
Ian Gerdon

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89. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 50 > Issue: 2
Adam Ployd

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90. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 50 > Issue: 2
Elly Brown

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91. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 50 > Issue: 2
Gregory J. Kerr

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92. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 50 > Issue: 2
Ian Boxall

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93. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 50 > Issue: 2

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94. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 50 > Issue: 1
Brian Dunkle, S.J.

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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.
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95. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 50 > Issue: 1
Veronica Roberts Ogle

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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.
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96. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 50 > Issue: 1
Sean Hannan

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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.
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97. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 50 > Issue: 1
Sarah Stewart-Kroeker Orcid-ID

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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.
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98. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 50 > Issue: 1
Joseph Lenow

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99. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 50 > Issue: 1
Danny Perrier

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100. Augustinian Studies: Volume > 50 > Issue: 1
Denis Fortin

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