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Book Reviews151 this is the section on Col. 1 : 15: "Firstborn of all Creation according to Tradition." Despite its quite poor typography—¦ there are errors on practically every page—¦ this is an important book, because it gives the basis in Scripture , in Tradition, and in theological reason for the doctrine which more than any other may serve as a unifying principle for all the positive, kerygmatic , Christ-centered work now being done by theologians throughout Western Christendom. Michael D. Meilach 0. F. M. Holy Name College, Washingten, D. C. Schumacher, William A., Spiritus and Spiritualis: A Study en the Sermons of Saint Augustine. St. Mary of the Lake Seminary (Mundelein, in., 1957), pp. 236. Index. This is another excellent contribution to that fine series the Dissertationes ad Lauream published by the Pontifical Theological Faculty at Saint Mary of the Lake Seminary. Fr. Schumacher's dissertation is limited to a study of the terms Spiritus and spiritualis as they occur in the Sermons of Augustine. The broad sense of the word "sermon" is used so that the study also includes the Ennarationes in Psalmos and the various tractates of Augustine. The importance of the sermons for such a study is clearly evident from the fact that the sermons cover the entire period of Augustine's intellectual life from the priesthood to his death and thus are highly representative of Augustine's activity as a writer and theologian. Fr. Schumacher's research is far more than a mere philological exercise ; he is constantly aware of the need of interpreting the language of St. Augustine within the historical, philosophical and theological context of the saint's writings. And his interpretations display considerable erudition and a wide range of acquaintance with the more significant texts of Augustinian scholarship. The book has two main divisions : the first, and major part, deals with the study of the word Spiritus; the second part is concerned with the various meanings attached to the word spiritualis. Several sections in the first part of the book are devoted to the use of the term Spiritus as it is applied to the divine nature (excluding the Holy Spirit), to angelic beings, to evil spirits, and to man. On the difficult question of the nature of angels, i. e. whether they are pure spirits or can have some kind of bodies, the author competently sums up all the evidence from the sermons on this obscure point and then rather wisely accepts the verdict of Portalié that: "It is not true that Augustine categorically affirmed that angels have a body, however, delicate or subtle it might be, but we cannot deny that he remained uncertain and undecided on this question to the end." (p. 44) Philosophers will find the analysis in chapter three of most interest for here the author considers the various meanings of Spiritus as they apply to human nature. The Augustinian psychology is described as basically Christian 152Book Reviews and theological. Despite the fact that some of Augustine's earlier essays on the soul were wholly philosophical, I would agree with the author's evaluation of the Augustinian psychology. The difficulties and imprécisions of the Augustinian terminology are well illustrated with many citations from the sermons noting how Spiritus is identified with soul, with the separated soul, with the composite nature of man, and even occasionally equated with pneuma. One of the more significant of the author's conclusions regarding the use of the term Spiritus in the sermons is his judgment that Augustine emphasized the unity of man without stressing either a hylomorphic or Platonic psychology. He cautions against accepting too readily a Platonic dualism merely because of Augustine's definition of man as a soul using a body. And despite the fact that a number of the citations from the sermons would tend to support an Aristotelian view of the substantial union of man, the author wisely refrains from the temptation to settle this difficultphilosophical issue in favor of either point of view. Similarly with respect to the question of a dichotomy (soul and body) or trichotomy (spirit, soul and body), the author indicates passages from the sermons to support either of these interpretations but does not...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1945-9718
Print ISSN
0080-5459
Pages
pp. 151-153
Launched on MUSE
2015-07-01
Open Access
No
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