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    Augustine as a Reader of His Christian Contemporaries

    Williams, Michael Stuart (2012) Augustine as a Reader of His Christian Contemporaries. In: A Companion to Augustine. Blackwell Publishing, pp. 227-239. ISBN 9781405159463

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    Augustine was not a great reader of his Christian contemporaries. That is to say, he seems not to have expended every energy (as might be expected of a modern scholar) in keeping up with the very latest to have been written on every topic on which he pronounced, or in which he could claim an interest. Part of the reason for this must be his relatively late conversion to Christianity. For as O’Donnell has pointed out, Augustine the professor of rhetoric – as he was by the time he reached his thirties – was inevitably better acquainted with the ancient Greek and Latin classics than he was with the far less sophisticated writings associated with Christianity (O’Donnell 2005a: 125). Indeed, his elliptical path to Christianity meant that the new convert was most familiar with the Christian Scriptures on account of their use by the Manicheans; and the contemporaries with whom he met to discuss ideas in Milan were more often Neoplatonists than Christians. Thus it seems clear that Augustine, unfamiliar with even the fundamental texts of his new religion, will have scarcely ventured into the writings of contemporary Christians.

    Item Type: Book Section
    Additional Information: Postprint version of article. The definitive version of this article is available in A Companion to Augustine Vessey, M. Blackwell Oxford pp 227-239 (2011).
    Keywords: Augustine; Christian Scriptures; Christianity; Hippo; On the Trinity;
    Academic Unit: Faculty of Arts,Celtic Studies and Philosophy > Ancient Classics
    Item ID: 5910
    Depositing User: Dr. Michael Williams
    Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2015 12:11
    Publisher: Blackwell Publishing
    Refereed: Yes

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