Read e-book online Soundings in St. Augustine's imagination PDF

By Robert J. O'Connell

ISBN-10: 082321348X

ISBN-13: 9780823213481

As a tender scholar in Paris, O'Connell was once first enamored of the exciting inventive imagery of Augustine's works. The imagery persevered to provoke him as his scholarship persevered. Now, after decades of study and relating to research at the subject, an intensive therapy of Augustine's snapshot clustersis printed during this quantity, Soundings in St. Augustine's mind's eye. That St. Augustine's writings are empowered by way of 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 inspiration which had formerly wondered the scholarly global. Soundings in St. Augustine's mind's eye is an primary addition to any philosophical library and a wealthy gift for all intrigued by way of his dramatic use of language and metaphor.

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But is it a foregone conclusion that his hopes in this connection were perfectly fulfilled? Do the two registers really follow the same logic, obey the same dynamics of development, really say the same thing? It would be tempting to suppose that the answer to that question can be expressed in the metaphor used above, in reference to Plato; in that case, Augustine's reasoned view of reality would stand to his imaged view as a skeleton stands to the flesh it supports. Both would present essentially the same shape; his reasoned view would be more like a monochrome x-ray in neutral black-and-white, whereas his imaged view provided the more graceful contours that betray the skeletal structure, both concealing and revealing it, at the same time lending that variety of flesh-tones that contribute charm and emotional warmth to the visible human body.

My debt extends, directly and indirectly, to others, certainly; I suspect that one day I shall come to recognize the sizable debt I have come to owe, for this study quite as much as for others I have worked on, to the invaluable illumination Mlle Anne-Marie La Bonnardière's numerous writings have shed on Augustine's use of the Bible and on the enormous stock of images it furnished him. And now, although I came to study her thesis only when my own research had reached substantial completion, it is clear that we shall all henceforth stand in similar debt to Suzanne Poque.

There is one particular feature of Augustine's thinking which is thrown into much sharper relief by studying his imagery than by analyzing his more speculative thought. " Several scholars have suggested that if Augustine truly espoused this view of the human, he was being very discreet, even (as one writer put it) "secretive" about it. Certainly, there came a time when he was compelled to wrestle with St. Paul's reminder (in Romans 9:11) that neither Esau nor Jacoband therefore, by extension, none of uscould be held guilty of having committed some pre-natal sin; hence, the mainspring of the "fallen soul" theory appeared to shatter.

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Soundings in St. Augustine's imagination by Robert J. O'Connell

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