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Augustine and his Critics (Christian Origins) [Paperback]

By Robert Dodaro (Author), Robert Dodaro (Editor) & George Lawless (Editor)
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Item description for Augustine and his Critics (Christian Origins) by Robert Dodaro & George Lawless...

Augustine of Hippo (AD 354-430) is arguably the most controversial Christian thinker in history. His positions on philosophical and theological concerns have been the subjects of intense scrutiny and criticism from his lifetime to the present.
Augustine and his Critics gathers twelve specialists' responses to modern criticisms of his thought, covering: personal and religious freedom; the self and God; sexuality, gender and the body; spirituality; asceticism; cultural studies; and politics.
Stimulating and insightful, the collection offers forceful arguments for neglected historical, philosophical and theological perspectives which are behind some of Augustine's most unpopular convictions.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Routledge
Pages   288
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.36" Width: 6.26" Height: 0.89"
Weight:   1 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 30, 2002
Publisher   Routledge
Edition  Revised  
ISBN  0415200636  
ISBN13  9780415200639  

Availability  78 units.
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More About Robert Dodaro & George Lawless

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Robert Dodaro is Professor of Patristics at the Patristic Institute, the Augustinianum, in Rome. He is the co-editor of Augustine: Political Writings (2000). George Lawless is Professor of Historical Theology at the Patristic Institute, the Augustinianum, and Adjunct Professor at the Gregorian University, Rome. He is the author of Augustine of Hippo and his Monastic Rule (1987).

Robert Dodaro has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Christian Origins
  2. Christian Origins Library

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History > General
2Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Church History
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Bible > General
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Theology > General
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > History

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Many voices  Jul 15, 2003
What I desire for all my works is not merely a kind reader but also a frank critic.
- Augustine of Hippo

The introduction to this volume begins with this very apt quotation from Augustine. Augustine welcomed criticism - that kind of reflection and pushing at the boundaries of experience and ideas that would help refine and shape his own theological development. This book is very much in keeping with that desire and tradition.

While it is not yet in the database, the book Augustine & His Critics, edited by Robert Dodaro and George Lawless is now available in an affordable paperback edition. This is a very scholarly and interesting work on Augustine of Hippo, one of the major figures of western Christian theology. All theology in Catholic and Protestant development has in some way responded to or reacted to Augustinian ideas. That makes this book, part of the Routledge Press' Christian Origins series, a particularly worthwhile text, given its emphasis on all sides of the developments out of Augustinian beginnings.

There are four main sections to this book:

Part I: If Plato were alive
Part II: The order of love
Part III: We are the times

The list of contributors to this volume is impressive, including historians, theologians and philosophers from all over Europe and North America, Catholic and Protestant, clergy and academics. For the sake of reference, I shall list the contributors; scholars in the field of church history, particularly Augustinian studies, will recognise many names and appreciate this list:

Lewis Ayres, Duke University
Robert Crouse, Dalhousie University and University of King's College, Halifax
Robert Dodaro, Patristic Institute, the Augustinianum, Rome
Hubertus R. Drobner,, Catholic Theological Faculty of Paderborn
Daniel W. Hardy, Cambridge University, also the Centre of Theological Inquiry, Princeton
Carol Harrison, University of Durham
Mathijs Lamberigts, Catholic University of Leuven
George Lawless, Patristic Institute, The Augustinianum, Rome, and the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome
Robert A. Markus, University of Nottingham
E. Ann Matter, University of Pennsylvania
John Milbank, University of Virginia
James Wetzel, Colgate University
Rowan Williams, University of Oxford

For those of you who follow my reviews in Christian theological studies, you may recognise a few of these names, too. Rowan Williams is a prolific author who is just about to the consecrated the next Archbishop of Canterbury. John Millbank is part of a movement of theology termed Radical Orthodoxy. This is a worthy collection of scholars.

This book is to a certain extent a festschrift for Professor Gerald Bonner, Daniel Hardy prepares the dedication of this volume to Bonner in the introduction by discussing his life and work, one that fits admirably the pattern of professional British scholarship. Included with this tribute to Bonner is a select bibliography of Bonner's work, and one can readily see the breadth of Bonner's scholarly product in the seven-page listing. Following this, Drobner sets the stage with an article on trends in Augustinian scholarship over the past decade. The 1600th anniversary of the Confessions, perhaps Augustine's best-known work, occurred during the mid 1980s, and sparked a great deal of scholarly reflection in attempts to glean new insights and new information about the Confessions. Much like the Bible, the Confessions continue to spawn more questions than answers.

Further researches into The City of God, new discoveries of hitherto forgotten letters and writings, and further work into areas of biblical exegesis, Christian doctrines and the theology of grace show the vitality of Augustinian scholarship after more than one and a half millennia.

It is obvious that a great many other issues could have been addressed; the introduction speaks to this shortfall, but fortunately there is no shortage of scholars addressing the issues of war, church authority and statecraft, relationships with Jews and those of other religions, and many other pressing issues on which Augustine's thought still impacts the world today.

For Augustinian scholars, this book is a necessity. The hardback edition was very expensive, such that libraries would be almost the only purchasers; Routledge has done the average Augustinian scholar a favour by producing an affordable paperback edition (which is still nearly [$$] in most places). For church historians and theologians, this book is a valuable resource, but probably less necessary for the library if your nearby seminary or university library carries the book.

For the casual reader, this book will provide an overview of many diverse views on Augustine. However, the book is not for beginners. A good primer on Augustine, together with at least an introductory knowledge of philosophy and the history of the time would be in order for the reader who wishes to tackle this book.


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