Access To God In Augustine's Confessions: Books X-XIII by Carl G Vaught

By Carl G Vaught

This can be the ultimate quantity in Carl G. Vaught's groundbreaking trilogy reappraising Augustine's Confessions, a cornerstone of Western philosophy and probably the most influential works within the Christian culture. Vaught bargains a brand new interpretation of the thinker as much less Neoplatonic and extra distinctively Christian than so much interpreters have inspiration. during this publication, he specializes in the main philosophical element of the Confessions and on the way it pertains to the former, extra autobiographical sections. A better half to the former volumes, which handled Books I-IX, this booklet should be learn both in series with or independently of the others.

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To underscore the crucial role God plays in the Confessions, Augustine speaks about the order in which the language of the text unfolds. 2). The Confessions is an expression of the language of God and the soul, not primarily because it is language about God or about God’s relation to us, but because it attempts to teach us how to listen and how to speak to God, where this, in turn, permits us to speak to one another. The language of God and the soul is language addressed to Augustine before it becomes language addressed to God and other people, where the fundamental purpose of this kind of discourse is to point to the priority of God and to renounce authorial control over the confessional enterprise.

The interplay between God and the soul that unfolds in time, space, and eternity, and that expresses itself in the “space” between God, on the one hand, and the absolute nihil on the other points to speaking and hearing as primordial phenomena and to the Place of places where the voice of God reverberates. 9). 8). In all INTRODUCTION 25 three cases, speaking and hearing lead us to the Place of places where vertical transactions occur between God and the soul. This suggests once more that even in the most theoretical part of his book, Augustine does not abandon the existential dimension of his enterprise, but continues to speak from his heart by placing the language of God and the soul at the center of his thinking.

Though human beings can reason about the validity of evidence, we are often no better than animals. We sometimes love created things too much; and when we subject ourselves to them, we are unable to pass judgment upon them. 10). 10). Thus, the capacity to consult Truth as a standard of judgment not only separates men from animals, but also permits us to distinguish those who know God tacitly from those who know him explicitly. ” Indeed, the nature of things says this; for we see that the physical world is a mass in which the parts are smaller than the whole.

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