Encounters With God in Augustine's Confessions: Books VII-IX by Carl G Vaught

By Carl G Vaught

This reappraisal of the center part of Augustine's Confessions covers the interval of Augustine's conversion to Christianity. the writer argues opposed to the present Neoplatonic interpretation of Augustine.

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Additional resources for Encounters With God in Augustine's Confessions: Books VII-IX (Bk.VII-IX)

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7). 34 ENCOUNTERS WITH GOD IN AUGUSTINE’S CONFESSIONS Augustine’s reference to faith in Christ is important because it is the foundation of attempts to demonstrate that he is not only a catechumen of the Catholic Church, but that he has already become a Christian before he reads the books of the Platonists10 and participates in the ascent toward God to be considered in the next section of this chapter. 11 Before we try to reach a conclusion about these issues, let us reconsider the stages of Augustine’s religious and philosophical development in which his relation to Christianity is a crucial factor.

Let me quote the crucial passage once more, this time in its entirety: Yet the faith of your Christ, our Lord and Savior, the faith that is in the Catholic Church, was firmly fixed within my heart. In 36 ENCOUNTERS WITH GOD IN AUGUSTINE’S CONFESSIONS many ways I was yet unformed and wavered from the rule of doctrine. But my mind did not depart from it, nay, rather, from day to day it drank in more and more of it. 7) The passage before us is important because it points to two ways of understanding Augustine’s relation to Christianity.

1). Knowledge of this kind presupposes the work of a divine teacher,3 whose existence Augustine has not yet acknowledged, but an understanding of whom will develop when he constructs the philosophical and theological framework that makes his intellectual and Christian conversions possible. The distinctions between corruptibility and incorruptibility and between violability and inviolability generate moral and metaphysical polarities, where the first points to a contrast between what can and cannot degenerate, while the second points to an opposition between what can and cannot resist encroachment.

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