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Rereading Historical Theology: Before, During, and After Augustine
     

Rereading Historical Theology: Before, During, and After Augustine

by Margaret R. Miles
 

Augustine of Hippo is arguably the most influential author in the history of Christian thought and institutions. Yet he has been revered by some reviewers and vilified by others. Contemporary critical approaches to historical authors can illuminate features of Augustine's thought and activities that are not noticed when reviewers' attention is either exclusively

Overview

Augustine of Hippo is arguably the most influential author in the history of Christian thought and institutions. Yet he has been revered by some reviewers and vilified by others. Contemporary critical approaches to historical authors can illuminate features of Augustine's thought and activities that are not noticed when reviewers' attention is either exclusively sympathetic or intransigently critical. Anyone who seeks to present an Augustine who has relevance for the twenty-first century must somehow hold together delight in the beauty of his prose and the profundity of his thought with dismay over some of the intentions and effects of his teachings. The essays in this book endeavor to read Augustine simultaneously critically and appreciatively. Miles places his thought in the context of his classical heritage and notices how pervasive in later Christian authors are the themes that informed Augustine's thought. Understanding his writings as a passionate effort to describe a metaphysical universe that accounts for the endlessly fascinating mystery of embodied life makes many of Augustine's proposals accessible, useful, and delightful in the context of contemporary quandaries and issues. His conclusions are less important than his method: In Augustine, knowledge and life mutually illuminate, energize, and critique each other, exemplifying the practice of a fully human life. Exploring some of his most persistent themes, these essays seek to show how Augustine's theology works.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781556352164
Publisher:
Wipf & Stock Publishers
Publication date:
01/28/2008
Pages:
326
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.73(d)

Meet the Author

Margaret R. Miles is Emerita Professor of Historical Theology at The Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley. She was Bussey Professor of Theology at the Harvard University Divinity School until 1996 when she became Dean of the Graduate Theological Union until her retirement in 2002. Her books include A Complex Delight: The Secularization of the Breast, 1350-1750, The Word Made Flesh: A History of Christian Thought, Plotinus on Body and Beauty, and Seeing and Believing: Religion and Values in the Movies.

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