Access To God In Augustine's Confessions: Books X-XIII by Carl G Vaught

By Carl G Vaught

This is often the ultimate quantity in Carl G. Vaught's groundbreaking trilogy reappraising Augustine's Confessions, a cornerstone of Western philosophy and essentially the most influential works within the Christian culture. Vaught deals a brand new interpretation of the thinker as much less Neoplatonic and extra distinctively Christian than such a lot interpreters have inspiration. during this ebook, he makes a speciality of the main philosophical component of the Confessions and on the way it pertains to the former, extra autobiographical sections. A significant other to the former volumes, which handled Books I-IX, this publication might be learn both in series with or independently of the others.

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37). 1). Augustine knows how important confession of this kind can be, since he also knows that if the demands of Christ that regulate the inner life can be met, appropriate external behavior will follow. 14). By contrast, in Book X, he begins to address the Christian community, whose members he asks to believe what he says because they love him. 5). In this case, what he confesses is not intended to stir up the heart toward God, or to delight the ones who have been converted, but to express the struggle of a convert as he joins other Christians in moving from conversion to fulfillment at both the experiential and reflective levels.

When Augustine confesses his sins in the second half of Book X, it is easy to believe that the audience he has in mind is made up of fellow Christians. Who else would have the patience to listen to the lengthy and often tedious confession of his present spiritual condition? But does Augustine intend to address this same audience in the first part of the book that focuses on the problem of memory? This section deals with many technical problems that only a philosopher would be likely to appreciate, leading us to wonder whether the discussion of these issues is intended exclusively for members of the Church, or for members of a wider philosophical community.

In the process, he challenges his readers to find a place of their own between pious fascination and intellectual antagonism. Augustine encourages his readers to move back and forth between the immediacy of his experience and his attempts to describe it as a series of intelligible stages; and when he discusses the problems of memory, time, and creation, he invites us to engage in the philosophical and theological reflection they generate. By doing this, he makes it clear that the problem of God and the soul is not only an existential question, but also a theoretical issue of considerable complexity.

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