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Marriage and Virginity (Works of Saint Augustine: A Translation for the 21st Century) [Paperback]

By John E. Rotelle (Author), David G. Hunder (Illustrator) & Ray Kearney (Translator)
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Item description for Marriage and Virginity (Works of Saint Augustine: A Translation for the 21st Century) by John E. Rotelle, David G. Hunder & Ray Kearney...

Overview
"This volume presents new translations of five of Augustine's works: The Excellence of Marriage, Holy Virginity, The Excellence of Widowhood, Adulterous Marriages, and Continence.... The volume is to be commended on several points. The translation itself is in eminently readable, clear English that should be accessible to anyone interested in Augustine.... The general introduction does an excellent job of placing these works in the context of Augustine's career, showing how Augustine reacts to controversies with the Manichees, Jovinian, Jerome, and the Pelagians, while maintaining a commitment to the threefold goods of marriage - procreation, fidelity, and sacrament. This is a wonderful collection that allows readers to see the complexity of Augustine's thought on a difficult topic." -Kim Paffenroth Journal of Early Christian Studies

Publishers Description
This volume presents new translations of five of Augustines works: The Excellence of Marriage, Holy Virginity, The Excellence of Widowhood, Adulterous Marriages, and Continence.... The volume is to be commended on several points. The translation itself is in eminently readable, clear English that should be accessible to anyone interested in Augustine.... The general introduction does an excellent job of placing these works in the context of Augustines career, showing how Augustine reacts to controversies with the Manichees, Jovinian, Jerome, and the Pelagians, while maintaining a commitment to the threefold goods of marriage procreation, fidelity, and sacrament. This is a wonderful collection that allows readers to see the complexity of Augustines thought on a difficult topic. Kim Paffenroth Journal of Early Christian Studies

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Item Specifications...


Studio: New City Press
Pages   251
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.06" Width: 6.64" Height: 0.72"
Weight:   0.93 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Apr 1, 2005
Publisher   NEW CITY PRESS
Edition  Revised  
Series  Works Of Saint Augustine  
ISBN  1565482220  
ISBN13  9781565482227  


Availability  1 units.
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More About John E. Rotelle, David G. Hunder & Ray Kearney


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John E. Rotelle currently resides in the state of Pennsylvania.

John E. Rotelle has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Expositions of the Psalms
  2. Spiritual Life
  3. Works of Saint Augustine (Numbered)
  4. Works of Saint Augustine, a Translation for the 21st Century


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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > Relationships > Marriage
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Spirituality > General


Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Roman Catholic



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Reviews - What do customers think about Marriage and Virginity (Works of Saint Augustine: A Translation for the 21st Century)?

Some of Augustine's most important works  Jul 2, 2002
This is a collection of short works by Augustine on the title subject (marriage and virginity). The table of contents is as follows:

General Introduction

The Excellence of Marriage (with introduction and notes)

Holy Virginity (with introduction and notes)

The Excellence of Widowhood (with introduction and notes)

Adulterous Marriages (with introduction and notes)

Continence (with introduction and notes)

Index of Scripture

General Index

All of the works in this collection were translated by Ray Kearney. In addition to the General Introduction, each work has a short introduction of its own and notes at the end. The introductions and notes are by David G. Hunter. The introductions aim to provide historical context for the works, with the general introduction providing an overview of the twenty-year period from which these works were written, and the individual introductions providing the background for each particular work. The notes supplied at the end mostly identify Augustine's references to other works, both by himself and by others. The supplementary material is not copious, but doesn't really need to be; none of the works in this collection is obscure or difficult.

"The Excellence of Marriage" was one of Augustine's most influential works. He wrote it to define the purpose of marriage and to defend it as a good - not as good as holy virginity but a good nevertheless. To this end, he defined the purpose of marriage (what goods it brings to those in the married state), and from this what the duties of marriage must therefore be. It is a work at once strange and familiar. It is strange in the pains it takes to defend the idea that marriage is not actually sinful (a charge that few would even think to make today). It is familiar in that many of the most criticized aspects of the Catholic view of marriage, such as the denial of divorce and the sinfulness of non-procreative sex, are presented and defended in this work. It is a powerful presentation of these embattled points of doctrine and well worth reading.

"Holy Virginity" is a work that necessarily followed Augustine's works on marriage. Having defended the goodness of marriage, a defense of the superior goodness of virginity was required. The argument is rhetorical in form and scriptural in content. The main purpose is completed fairly quickly - Augustine draws on the lives of Mary, Jesus, the Apostles, and the teachings of Paul to establish that holy virginity is a good thing. Surprisingly, he then devotes considerable space to warning those practicing virginity not to be over-proud of their state and its superiority over marriage and to caution those practicing virginity to humility.

"The Excellence of Widowhood" is a long letter written to a widow asking Augustine's advice. In content it is fairly thin, but it was interesting to note that in it Augustine explicitly names a simple principal underlying much of his writing - precept first, then exhortation. The precept here (that widowhood is an honorable state) is a small one, and is treated at much more length than its worth would seem to warrant.

"Adulterous Marriages" is a treatment of a variety of possible issues and complications surrounding adultery, particularly with regard to separation and remarriage. It was built on the same theological foundations as "The Good of Marriage", but was aimed less at expounding doctrine than answering possible objections to it and clarifying the finer points. It almost serves as a set of appendices to that prior and more foundational work.

"Continence" was written, surprising as it may seem to a modern audience, not to defend continence but to defend the goodness of creation in general and marriage in particular. The opposing position was Manichaean dualism, which taught that everything good was in the soul and everything bad was in the body. As he so often had to do, Augustine had to attack one extreme while at the same time not seeming to endorse the other.

 
A Fresh Look  Dec 13, 2001
Another significant addition to the Works of Saint Augustine by New City Press. This addition contains all the particular treatises of the Great Doctor of the West dedicated to sexuality, save one ("On Marriage and Concupiscence" also in this series, in the Anti-Pelagian Collection).
The angle of this edition, demarked as "a translation for the 21st Century," is certainly borne out, for better or worse, by its translator's word choices. It does sound at times as though its individual treatises did not come from the turn of the fifth century, but from the turn of the 21st century. Yet this should lead to minimal difficulty.
The signature of the Works of Augustine, their excellent binding and notes, makes this volume an enduring component for any study. Dr. Rotelle has done a worthy job of introducing each treatise and has guaranteed that these treatises will be available for the modern debate.
 

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