Augustinian Studies

Volume 35, Issue 1, 2004

William Harmless
Pages 17-42

The Voice and the Word
Augustine’s Catechumenate in Light of the Dolbeau Sermons

On June 24th, 407, Augustine was in Carthage and was asked by his friend Aurelius to preach that day, the feast of the birth of John the Baptist. Drawing on the Gospel reading, he contrasted John as “Voice” with Christ as “Word” and meditated at length on the nature of speech, preaching, and conversion (Sermo 293A =Dolbeau 3). I draw on the sermons discovered by François Dolbeau to explore what they say about Augustine’s catechumenate and about him as a teacher of catechumens. This supplements my book, Augustine and the Catechumenate, published before the Dolbeau sermons became fully available.

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