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Category Archives: Augustine

Is evil privation?

It has become an almost undisputed datum in contemporary theology that evil is to be understood in the Augustinian manner as a privation of goodness. Evil has no reality or being as such. Rather it is simply a lack, a minus within the plenitude of goodness (See for example Confessions VII 13[19]). This sounds absolutely […]

Conundrums of Simplicity

Peter Leithart has two great posts wrestling with some of Augustine’s questions about the nature of the relations within the Trinity and the question of simplicity, particularly his struggles with the biblical affirmation that Christ is “the power of God and the wisdom of God.” Augustine labors mightily to articulate how this can be true […]

Augustine the Crazy Feminist

Melissa posts a couple awesome quotes from Augustine on God as Mother. Here’s just one: “My father and mother have abandoned me (Psalm 26:10). The psalmist has made himself a little child in relation to God. He has made God both his father and his mother. God is our father because he created us, because […]

Augustine Translations

Even though Augustine Week only produced a handful of posts, I’m still furiously reading all things Augustine. So far I’ve been quite impressed with the New City Press editions of Augustine’s works. Sadly they haven’t done The City of God yet, but the Cambridge University Press edition seems pretty good to me. But, as a […]

The Doxological Self

To move towards something of a synthesis of my last two reflections on Augustine’s Confessions let us consider: Augustine’s act of recounting his life and accounting for his past “selves” is an act of self-construction in some sense. Augustine is becoming a person through telling the story of his conversion. The act of confession, of […]

What is Confession?

One of the interesting things about reading Augustine’s Confessions is the way it makes one reflect on what the practice of confession means in a full theological sense. Clearly Augustine’s act of confessing in his account includes what we normally think of, namely the public admission of sin. However it is clearly much, much more […]

Augustine and Self-Constituting Narration

Brian Horne’s essay “Person as Confession” is an interesting look at what Augustine was perhaps “doing” in writing his Confessions. This has clearly been a source of debate among scholars of Augustine for some time, but Horne’s analysis certainly poses some interesting questions. Why, for example did Augustine assume that people would be interested in […]

Augustine Our Contemporary

It seems a fair consensus that in Augustine’s journey to Christianity there were three major issues with which he had to deal. Certainly these could be expressed variously but they seem to come down to 1) a problem with the idea of humanity being created in God’s image (since God is absolute transcendent spirit, how […]

Augustine Week

Let me begin, appropriately, with a confession: I have never read Augustine in any thing approaching the depth that he merits. Obviously this is an unacceptable situation. To that end, I have decided to declare this coming week, beginning on Sunday, to be Augustine week. Barth and Yoder will be put aside, movies and my […]

Freedom: Augstinian-Style

James K.A. Smith’s article in Evangelicals and Empire is good overview of the contrast between the rhetoric of freedom in the West and the classical Christian and distinctly Augustinian notion of freedom as rightly ordered desire: If we valorize freedom as mere freedom of choice, then we end up affirming the condition of a disorderd […]

If you had to…

A while back I asked folks who they would study if they had to be a scholar of just one modern theologian.  The key word there was ‘modern’.  Now I want to open it up more.  Out of all premodern theologians, (lets say up until the 19th century) who would you most want to study?  […]

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