New PDF release: Evil and the Augustinian Tradition

By Charles T. Mathewes

ISBN-10: 051104187X

ISBN-13: 9780511041877

ISBN-10: 0521807158

ISBN-13: 9780521807159

Evil and the Augustinian culture explores the "family biography" of the Augustinian culture by way of Augustine's paintings and its improvement within the writings of Hannah Arendt and Reinhold Niebuhr. Mathewes argues that the Augustinian culture bargains us a robust, notwithstanding in most cases misconstrued, concept for knowing and responding to evil's demanding situations. The booklet casts new mild on Augustine, Niebuhr, and Arendt, in addition to at the challenge of evil, the character of culture, and the position of theological and moral discourse in modern concept.

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Extra resources for Evil and the Augustinian Tradition

Sample text

For my general approach to the processes of cultural imagination and formation, I am profoundly indebted to Raymond Williams . Typically this is seen as simply the expression of modern rationalism’s inadequacy, but in fact, what opposes modern rationalism is often depicted as a demonic counter-plan, or conspiracy, a secret mirror double of the modern. ) Thus, in opposing modernity the Gothic finds itself in need of modernity’s conceptual scheme, and shows how modern structures may be turned against themselves, à la deconstruction – but also, if inadvertently, reaffirming the structures’ inescapability, at least for the Gothic.

In doing this, we are not simply repairing the particular errors of Niebuhr and Arendt; more basically, we are offering the rudiments of an interpretation of the Augustinian tradition which runs importantly counter to the usual modern interpretation. Indeed modernity’s intellectual roots are found, to a significant degree, in important misreadings of Augustine’s works; the roots of rationalism can be found in Descartes’ misreading of Augustine’s arguments about the cogito; and the roots of voluntarism can be found in late medieval misreadings of Augustine’s account of the will.

16 14 15 16 Morris . b. Morris’s discussion of doctors’ use of an agonic language of “conquest” and warfare; doctors think of pain largely as a puzzle to be solved, an opponent to be defeated (–). Cited in Morris , . I am not arguing that the medical advances of the past few centuries have not made great inroads on our physical ailments. I am simply saying that we will never be immortal, and that one of the unfortunate consequences of medicine’s attempt to deny this has been medicine’s denial of the signs of our mortality wherever they appear – of which pain is certainly an important one.

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Evil and the Augustinian Tradition by Charles T. Mathewes


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