Access to God in Augustine's Confessions
Publication Year: 2005
Published by: State University of New York Press
Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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Augustine’s Confessions is a fascinating book. The author begins by praising the greatness of God, confesses his sins by writing an autobiography, and defends his faith by describing the conditions that make memory, temporal experience, and existential transformation possible. In each case, the dynamism of his discourse takes us beyond the surface of the text into...
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This book is a detailed analysis of Books X–XIII of Augustine’s Confessions, and it comes to focus on the conditions that make his access to God possible. The first of these conditions is the structure of memory, the second is the nature of time, and the third is the meaning of creation ex nihilo. Looking back on the first thirty-three years of his life, and...
1. The Nature of Memory (Book X)
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At the beginning of Book X, Augustine makes a transition from the death of his mother in 387 A.D. to the time at which he writes the Confessions some ten to thirteen years later. This transition from the past to the present permits him to move from the episodes that he records in...
2. The Problem of Time (Book XI)
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Augustine’s discussion of the nature of time calls our attention to the contrast between time and eternity and places it within a context in which both issues are crucial themes. In addition, Augustine’s analysis of the nature of time is usually considered in abstraction from the larger context in which he embeds it.1 However, the difficulty with approaching...
3. The Hermeneutics of Creation (Books XII–XIII)
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This chapter focuses on Augustine’s exegesis of Genesis 1:1–2:3, beginning with the creation of form and matter and ending with the telos of the new creation. In between these sections, it concentrates on diverse interpretations of the text that Augustine says are equally valid and develops an allegorical interpretation of verses 1:3–2:3 that allows him to...
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Page Count: 294
Publication Year: 2005