Image, Identity, and the Forming of the Augustinian Soul (AAR ACADEMY SER)

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9780199916337: Image, Identity, and the Forming of the Augustinian Soul (AAR ACADEMY SER)
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In our current pluralist context, there is no clearly designated means of valuing or defining the human person. Matthew Drever shows that in the writings of St. Augustine we find a concept of the human person that is fluid, tenuous, prone to great good and great vice, and influenced deeply by the wider spiritual and material environment. Through an examination of his account of the human relation to God, Drever demonstrates how Augustine can offer a crucial resource for a religious reorientation and revaluation of the human person.

Drever focuses particularly on the concepts of the imago dei and creatio ex nihilo, significant for their influence on Augustine's understanding of the human person and for their potential to bridge his and our own world. Though rooted in Augustine's early work, these concepts are developed fully in his later writings: his Genesis commentaries and On the Trinity in particular. Drever examines how in these later writings the origin (creatio ex nihilo) and identity (imago dei) of the human person intersect with Augustine's understanding of creation, Christ, and the Trinity.

Image, Identity, and the Forming of the Augustinian Soul constructs an interpretation of Augustine's view of the person that acknowledges its classical context while also addressing contemporary theological and philosophical appropriations of Augustine and the issues that animate them.

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About the Author:


Matthew Drever (Ph.D., University of Chicago) is an assistant professor of religion at the University of Tulsa. His work centers on historical and constructive Christian theology, and the intersection of both with contemporary continental philosophy.

Review:


"His interpretations display expansive knowledge of Augustine's texts, and are impressively attuned to the subtleties of his Latin, adding up to a book marked by analytic clarity and precision." --Anglican Theological Review


"A solid, well-researched treatment... Drever's work furthers the scholarly conversation, mainly by introducing modern Continental phenomenologists into the discussion... Recommended." --CHOICE


"This book gives deep insights into Augustine's anthropology centering on the idea of the created self. Examining Augustine's main writings, Drever shows how concepts like creatio ex nihilo, human selfhood, and the Image of God flow together in the notion of the human person. This work is brilliantly written by a scholar who brings Augustine's thought to bear on discussions in contemporary systematic theology." --Johannes Brachtendorf, author of The Structure of the Human Mind in Augustine: Self-Reflection and Knowledge of God in De Trinitate


"The Augustine who enters into contemporary reflection about what the self is or whether there even is one tends to be a curious cross between a Cartesian, fixated on mental certainty, and a postmodern, minding gaps and embracing mutability. Drever situates this hybrid Augustine within the theological complexity of the late antique original, whose reflections on creation, Christ, and the Trinity break the mold of our contemporary confusions about selfhood. As an illustration of what circumspect, conceptually nimble historical theology has to offer a post-Hegelian philosophical muse, Drever's study is brilliantly instructive. This is the book to read on the formation of 'the Augustinian soul.'" --James Wetzel, Chair of St. Augustine, Villanova University


"Matthew Drever demonstrates strong command of the primary texts and their historical context. This book is balanced and nuanced, yet clear and interesting. The writing is crisp, even elegant, with helpful examples and comparisons that advance a needed conversation between Augustinian studies, philosophy, and religious studies. An excellent work." --Eric Gregory, Professor of Religion, Princeton University


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