Feminist Interpretations of Augustine
Publication Year: 2007
Published by: Penn State University Press
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Take into your hands any history of philosophy text. You will find compiled therein the ‘‘classics’’ of modern philosophy. Since these texts are often designed for use in undergraduate classes, the editor is likely to offer an introduction in which the reader is informed that these selections represent the perennial questions of philosophy. ...
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Augustine is one of the first writers to speak directly to us across the centuries from the far reaches of the late Roman Empire. We hear his voice especially through his great work the Confessions, a text unique in the literature of the ancient world. Ostensibly, Augustine addressed this work to God, ...
1 Augustine: Sexuality, Gender, and Women
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There are few lives of any historical person that have been so often recounted, analyzed, and psychoanalyzed as that of Augustine. This is largely the result of his work the Confessions, as well as of the accurate perception that much of his teaching on sexuality, sin, grace, and predestination ...
2 Monica: The Feminine Face of Christ
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In ‘‘Beyond Mary and Eve,’’ Margaret Maxey provocatively suggests, ‘‘The theological task of ‘liberating’ women would get underway primarily by rejecting and counteracting an Augustinian inheritance.’’1 Many dimensions of Augustine’s thought suggest that feminists would do well to follow Maxey’s advice.2 ...
3 Augustine’s Rhetoric of the Feminine in the Confessions: Woman as Mother, Woman as Other
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In his Confessions, Saint Augustine refers to the unremembered beginning of his life and its unknown ending in images that parallel each other suggestively. In describing his beginning he says, ‘‘I was given the comfort of woman’s milk. But neither my mother nor my nurses filled their breasts of their own accord, ...
4 Confessing Monica
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It is difficult to force Augustine to confess his mother fixation, partly because he is already so eager to do so. He is, after all, the man who virtually invented the closet, so that he could come out of its hollowed, hallowed interiority again and again, making a subject of his private perversions, ...
5 O Mother, Where Art Thou? In Search of Saint Monnica
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Current feminist examinations of the hagiographies of notable women observe that women serve as the vehicles for delivering male-inspired and male-written messages. In one respect, that is inevitable, since men are writing about women and praising qualities that men find valuable. ...
6 Not Nameless but Unnamed: The Woman Torn from Augustine’s Side
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In his Confessions, Augustine famously grieved for a woman ‘‘torn from
his side’’ by what he describes as his mother’s desire that he make an
advantageous marriage. She wanted him to marry an heiress, he wrote,
‘‘so that expense would be no burden.’’
7 Augustine’s Letters to Women
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Augustine wrote several letters to women, these making up only a small part of his epistolary corpus. They differ little, if at all, in range of content and tone from those written to men. There are letters of condolence, letters of advice, letters on the religious life, and letters (the majority) covering ...
8 De cura feminarum: Augustine the Bishop, North African Women, and the Development of a Theology of Female Nature
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Because of his enormous profile in the development ofWestern Christian thought, Augustine has often been evaluated and judged more by his legacy, that is, how he has been received, than by what he actually said and did.1 Of course, in some ways this is his own fault, since, even in his own lifetime, ...
9 Augustine on Women: In God’s Image, but Less So
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Does Augustine consider that women, as well as men, are made in the image of God? The number and variety of articles that deal with this vexed and difficult question have increased greatly over the past thirty years. Any consideration of this topic must at the outset acknowledge the very early ...
10 To Remember Self, to Remember God: Augustine on Sexuality, Relationality, and the Trinity
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The general emphasis on relationality and experience in feminist theology has engendered a thorough examination of Christian teachings on two seemingly unrelated topics in recent years: the Trinity and sexuality. In the former instance, Christian feminist theologians have repeatedly turned to the doctrine of God, ...
11 The Evanescence of Masculinity: Deferral in Saint Augustine’s Confessions and Some Thoughts on Its Bearing on the Sex/Gender Debate
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Over the past twenty years, a substantial amount of feminist debate has centered around what has become known as the sex/gender distinction— a distinction originally employed to assert that what is regarded as conventional feminine behavior is not the inevitable result of being a ‘‘biological’’ woman, ...
Poem: To Aurelius Augustine from the Mother of His Son
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Page Count: 336
Publication Year: 2007
Series Title: Re-Reading the Canon
Series Editor Byline: Nancy Tuana, General Editor