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BOOK REVIEWS 621 own, could result in a never-ending scholarship which might silence further writing. It is no wonder that an author who has taken himself on such a journey should prove to be so sceptical of Augustine's views on reading. Stock's interpretation would reaffirm a kind of scepticism found in Augustine's early writings, "an anti-utopian view of reading" where, according to Stock, Augustine acknowledges "the hopelessness of human interpretive efforts." One major source for this pessimistic hermeneutics lies in the relational view of reading Augustine advocates, where what is read must be filtered through the reader. But this did not lead Augustine to scepticism. To be sure, Augustine did not have to read what other scholars would write of him, enough to sour his optimism. "ToUe, lege, take and read" was the meditative moral of Augustine's carefully crafted Confession,. It was emblematic of his conversion to Christianity, as well as his earlier conversion from grammar to rhetoric, and then from rhetoric to philosophy. Indeed, "tolle, lege"was emblematic of Augustine. As Augustine reflected on the journey his life had taken, he would suggest to those who take him up and read him that reading is their guide as well. Interpretation is at the heart of being human. All reading requires interpretation, reflection, meditation. The reader compares the worlds others' words depict with the world she has known firsthand. In this way, interpreting a text becomes a test of character, as the reader weighs the truth and goodness of what she reads against the truth and goodness of what she finds displayed by the inner light within her mind. If meditative reading is the guide of moral life, it guides us individually, personally, selectively, as each reader connects with what a text displays according to her own angle of repose. There can be no common reading of a text, just as no one's journey, no one's story ever is the same. This, Augustine found, is something to rejoice over. And so Augustine's Confessionsrecord other readers' stories, other conversions, suggesting other ways of reading, different paths to the same salvation . Whatever the journey, the plasticity of interpretation remains fundamental, not some final reading. DAVID K. GLIDDEN University of California, Riverside Toivo J. Holopainen. Dialecticand Theologyin the Eleventh Century. Studien und Texte zur Geistesgeschichte des Mittelalters, Vol. 54- Leiden, New York, K61n: E.J. Brill, 1996. Pp. viii + 171. $78.00. In this revised dissertation, the author studies theological applications of dialectic during the second half of the eleventh century. He dismisses the largely discredited depiction of the period as one torn by conflict between "dialecticians" and "anti-dialecticians" as "utterly misleading" (156), and proposes instead "a new conception of the evolution of theological method in the eleventh century" (5) based on a reading of Peter Damian's De divina omnipotentia, Lanfranc of Bee's De corporeetsanguine Domini, Berengar of Tours's Rescriptum contra Lanfrannum, and Anselm of Canterbury's Monologion and Proslogion. 622 JOURNAL OF THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY 35:4 OCTOBER 1997 These works, the author assumes, provide a representative sample of eleventh-century attitudes regarding dialectic and theology. Holopainen characterizes Peter Damian (traditionally the whipping post for historians of philosophy who claim that he denied that the principle of non-contradiction constrains the divine will) as a "mild anti-dialectician" uninterested in applying dialectic to theology, but in whose principal philosophical work, De divina omnipotentia, dialectic defends both the indeterminacy of future events and "an affirmation of the universal validity of the principle of non-contradiction" (4~). Lanfranc, in turn, is depicted as a theologian willing to use (and abuse) dialectical argument analysis to attack Berengar's Eucharistic doctrine, but Holopainen contends that Lanfranc's failure to apply Aristotelian concepts of substance and accident prevented him from expanding dialectic's role in theology. Because Berengar and Anselm do employ these concepts, the author credits them with having more fully exploited dialectic's potential. Somewhat surprisingly, Holopainen sees Berengar's use of dialectic as more restrained than Anselm's, since he denies that Berengar "would have desired to prove the truth of some doctrinal sentence by the aid of reason alone...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 621-622
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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