Confessions, Vol. 1: Introduction and Text by Saint Augustine;James J. O’Donnell (ann.)

By Saint Augustine;James J. O’Donnell (ann.)

The Confessions of Augustine have lengthy either demanded and eluded the sustained and critical recognition to aspect scholarly observation provides. This new paintings in 3 volumes is a tremendous new reference in Augustine scholarship. A revised Latin textual content of the Confessions in quantity I types the foundation for an in depth line-by-line remark (Volumes II and III) designed to explain the numerous layers of that means within the paintings. vast citation and considerable quotation of Augustine's personal writings, of the scriptural texts that have been by no means faraway from his brain, and of the works of his highbrow forebears (chief between them Cicero, Plotinus, and Ambrose) are supposed to offer one crucial context for examining the Confessions. putting the emphasis totally on exegesis, O'Donnell opens up new strains of interpretation, and offers a wealth of unpolluted element to a few extra established issues. where of the Confessions in Augustine's personal lifestyles and within the heritage of Christian literature can also be mentioned and illuminated.

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45 Noticeably missing from the summary in 39 9. 10. 25, 'si cui sileat . ,' almost a translation from Plot. 5. 1. 2. " [cf. Mt. 25: 21]'. 41 For details, see introd. n. to Bk. 10. 42 Cf. esp. 11. 29. 39-30. 40 (note 11. 27. 34, for the thematic echo of Ps. 99: 3, 'ipse fecit nos') and t3- 13- «443 The ascent is from corporal to spiritual to intellectual vision. See on 7. 9. 16 for details. 44 There is a marked drop-off in the frequency and intensity of Plotinian (or Porphyrian) language in Augustine's works from the time ofwriting the Confessions.

9. 50 Courcelle's view (Les Confessions, 18-26) dating Augustine's final break with Manicheism later than most others would accept has the merit of emphasizing that it was Platonism that decisively answered for Augustine the questions that the Manichees had pressed with such force. 51 In the garden scene specif1cally and Bk. 8 generally. 's thought, insisting not only on their doctrinal significance but on their rhetorical effectiveness. It is tempting to think that there might be some perfect method of textual analysis that would employ these triads to reveal to us at every turn in the Confessions exactly how A.

Litt. (2) c. ep. Don. (a systematic refutation barely begun and not surviving) went nowhere, but bapt. (in 6 books) follows the Confessions. (3) The Pauline commentaries of 394/6 (arising out of discussions at Carthage when A. was a presbyter: retr. 1. 23. 1) go nowhere, until div. qu. Simp. put him on the right track leading direcdy to the Confessions, and beyond the Confessions to both trin. (see below) and to the anti-Pelagian THE CONFESSIONS IN AUGUSTINE'S LIFE xliii dreadful util. 70—unconvincing, lamely argued, poorly organized— and he managed to complete only his commentaries on the Sermon on the Mount and on Galatians (while throwing up his hands at giving Romans a similar treatment).

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