Download e-book for kindle: Soundings in St. Augustine's imagination by Robert J. O'Connell

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By Robert J. O'Connell

As a tender scholar in Paris, O'Connell used to be first enamored of the fascinating inventive imagery of Augustine's works. The imagery persisted to provoke him as his scholarship endured. Now, after a long time of study and concerning learn at the subject, a radical remedy of Augustine's photo clustersis printed during this quantity, Soundings in St. Augustine's mind's eye. That St. Augustine's writings are empowered via use of poetic imagery is of curiosity to readers of philosophy, theology, in addition to language. during this paintings, Augustine's imagery is used as a foundation to make clear a few of his idea which had formerly questioned the scholarly international. Soundings in St. Augustine's mind's eye is an important addition to any philosophical library and a wealthy present for all intrigued through his dramatic use of language and metaphor.

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4 The term "remain" (manere) regularly connotes the same stability, but adds the nuance of enduringness, abidingness: "Past and future I find in every changing being; in the [Divine] Truth Which remains [the same: manet] I find neither past nor future, but only present" (InJo 38 10). Esse, stare, manere: when used without further qualification, these three terms signify, for Augustine, the kind of plenary, unchangingly stable, and "abiding" or "enduring" being proper to the Eternal God. " The Dis-Tention of Temporality We temporal beings, in contrast, experience our existence as "stretched out," "dis-tended," into moment that follows moment; our lives transeunt, each segment of them coming to be and then "passing," in the sense of passing away as it dissolves into the succeeding segment.

All translations from Augustine's text are my own. I must close these remarks by conceding something to my pipe-smoking critic: in one important respect his attitude may have been more authentically "Augustinian" than mine. For Augustine himself, I suspect, would probably have taken a somewhat jaundiced view of this, or of any study like it. Imagine, he might have Page 17 exclaimed, a grown man so fervidly tracking down these images of stormy deeps and falling snows, journeys, shipwrecks, perils of night and parching deserts by day; images of God as Father, Doctor, Nurse, and Mother.

A glance through Patrick Verbraken's heroic Études critiques sur les sermons authentiques de saint Augustin (The Hague: Nijhoff, 1976) will illustrate the problem as it touches Augustine's sermones. '' Subsequent efforts have frequently been compelled to remain equally vague. Where Kunzelmann thought it Page 14 possible to assign more precise dates, scholars since have sometimes agreed with him, but in other instances their conjectures can differ from his and from each other's, sometimes wildly and by a matter of decades.

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