Augustine the Reader: Meditation, Self-Knowledge, and the by Brian Stock

By Brian Stock

Augustine of Hippo, a crucial determine within the historical past of Western notion, can be the writer of a concept of interpreting that has had a profound impact on Western letters from the a while of Petrarch, Montaigne, Luther, and Rousseau to these of Freud and our personal time. Brian inventory presents the 1st complete account of this idea in the evolution of Augustine's early dialogues, his Confessions, and his systematic treatises.

Augustine used to be confident that phrases and pictures play a mediating function in our perceptions of truth. within the union of philosophy, psychology, and literary insights that kinds the root of his conception of interpreting, the reader emerges because the dominant version of the reflective self. Meditative studying, certainly the meditative act that constitutes analyzing itself, turns into the portal to internal being. whilst, Augustine argues that the self-knowledge studying brings is, of necessity, constrained, because it is religion instead of interpretive cause which may translate analyzing into varieties of knowing.

In making his conception of interpreting a primary situation, Augustine rethinks historical doctrines approximately photos, reminiscence, emotion, and cognition. In judging what readers achieve and don't achieve from the sensory and psychological figuring out of texts, he's taking up questions that experience reappeared in modern pondering. He prefigures, and in a manner he teaches us to acknowledge, our personal preoccupations with the phenomenology of interpreting, the hermeneutics of culture, and the ethics of interpretation.

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Extra resources for Augustine the Reader: Meditation, Self-Knowledge, and the Ethics of Interpretation

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Forced to do so. "74 His work habits were disciplined by periodic flogging. 75 The subsidizing76 of his education was viewed as an investment (I. 4-5). Understandably so; with the exception of Romanianus, his patrons were people of modest means. 29-30). 14-15). 1-4). J9 It was a short step from these fleeting pleasures to the "carnal corruption of his soul" a few years later through sex, carousing, and petty theft-topics that are discussed at length in book 2. 80 He undoubtedly exaggerated his waywardness.

Among the inward ideas that benefit man, moreover, none is more germane to the understanding and regulation of the self than what he calls, echoing Paul, the scripta conscientia the human conscience (or consciousness) that is informed by God's law. 127 He thus introduces into the Confessions a crucial idea-the notion of conscience as a superior type of rule or judgement, which is enjoined on all Christian readers from within. 128 On this note he brings book I to a close. 14-15). The "confession" praises God for allowing the narrative of words to unfold into the narrative of informed sacred writings.

The Hortensius expresses the views of Crassus in De Oratore) who advocates the study of the liberal arts in the education of the doctus orator. 178 In writing after 397, there was little need for Augustine to offer another summary of this theme, which is so often echoed in the "philosophical dialogues. "179 It was more important to speak of a conversion from within based on a renunciation of wealth and worldly ambition. The compression of ideas is what one might expect some twelve years after the event.

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