Augustine's Intellectual Conversion: The Journey from Platonism to Christianity

Augustine's Intellectual Conversion: The Journey from Platonism to Christianity

by Brian Dobell


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This book examines Augustine's intellectual conversion from Platonism to Christianity, as described at Confessions 7.9.13-21.27. It is widely assumed that this occurred in the summer of 386, shortly before Augustine's volitional conversion in the garden at Milan. Brian Dobell argues, however, that Augustine's intellectual conversion did not occur until the mid-390s, and develops this claim by comparing Confessions 7.9.13-21.27 with a number of important passages and themes from Augustine's early writings. He thus invites the reader to consider anew the problem of Augustine's conversion in 386: was it to Platonism or Christianity? His original and important study will be of interest to a wide range of readers in the history of philosophy and the history of theology.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781107404243
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 04/19/2012
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 270
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Brian Dobell is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Balamand.

Table of Contents

Preface; Note on translations and references; Chronological table of Augustine's writings; List of abbreviations and texts; Introduction: Augustine's conversion to Christianity; Part I. The Way of Authority and 'the Falsity of Photinus': 1. The way of authority; 2. The development of Augustine's Christology; Part II. The Way of Reason and the Ascent of the Soul: 3. The way of reason; 4. The problem of evil and the development of Augustine's metaphysics; 5. The graded ascent; 6. The rejection of Platonic ascent; 7. The Ostia ascent; Conclusion: Augustine the Porphyrian; Appendix: true and false in Soliloquies II; Bibliography; Index.

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