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Access to God in Augustine's Confessions
Books X-XIII
Access to God in Augustine's Confessions
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Carl G. Vaught - Author
Price: $65.00 
Hardcover - 294 pages
Release Date: April 2005
ISBN10: 0-7914-6409-1
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-6409-0

Price: $31.95 
Paperback - 294 pages
Release Date: June 2006
ISBN10: 0-7914-6410-5
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-6410-6

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Continuing his groundbreaking reappraisal of the Confessions, Carl G. Vaught shows how Augustine's solutions to philosophical and theological problems emerge and discusses the longstanding question of the work's unity.

This is the final volume in Carl G. Vaught's groundbreaking trilogy reappraising Augustine's Confessions, a cornerstone of Western philosophy and one of the most influential works in the Christian tradition. Vaught offers a new interpretation of the philosopher as less Neoplatonic and more distinctively Christian than most interpreters have thought. In this book, he focuses on the most philosophical section of the Confessions and on how it relates to the previous, more autobiographical sections. A companion to the previous two volumes, which dealt with Books I–IX, this book can be read either in sequence with or independently of the others.

Books X–XIII of the Confessions begin after Augustine has become Bishop of Hippo and they are separated by more than ten years from the episodes recorded in the previous nine books of the text. This establishes the narrative in the present and speaks to the "believing sons of men." Augustine explores how memory, time, and creation make the journey toward God and the encounter with God possible. Vaught analyzes these conditions in order to unlock Augustine's solutions to familiar philosophical and theological problems. He also tackles the frequently discussed problem of the alleged disconnection between the earlier books and the last four books by showing how Augustine binds experience and reflection together.“…

[Vaught] brings all the insights of his discipline to bear on the most philosophical part of the Confessions, books X–XIII. This has clearly been a labour of love for Professor Vaught and his admiration for Augustine has remained unstinting.” — Journal of Theological Studies

“This final volume is a much welcomed completion to this trilogy … For anyone picking up the Confessions for the first time, Vaught does a very nice job taking the reader through the basic narrative … of Augustine’s story. These texts will also assist scholars desiring to go deeper into Augustine’s thought; and, finally, for those of us teaching the Confessions, Vaught’s comments here freshly illumine a text with which we should never grow all too comfortable or familiar. As such, all students of Augustine owe Dr. Vaught a sincere thanks.” — Review of Metaphysics

“This is the last volume of Vaught’s trilogy on Augustine’s Confessions. Vaught has developed a unique interpretative paradigm that stretches over his three volumes and is a sine qua non for understanding his methodology.” — Theological Studies

“…any reader who takes this book in hand as a companion to his own reading of Augustine will certainly come to the end with a far deeper appreciation of the importance of these four books as the culmination of what must be Augustine’s best-known and best-loved work.” — The Downside Review

"At every point in the book there is fresh insight into the most neglected portion of the Confessions. I am impressed with the skill with which the space, time, and eternity scheme is used, and the lightness with which the impressive underlying scholarship is worn." — Merold Westphal, author of Transcendence and Self-Transcendence: On God and the Soul

"Vaught does an excellent job of displaying the unity of the work by presenting Books X–XIII as establishing the conditions for what is recounted in the autobiographical, existential Books I–IX, as a movement from faith to understanding and from experience to reflection." — Ann Hartle, author of Michel de Montaigne: Accidental Philosopher

Carl G. Vaught is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Baylor University. He has written many books, including the previous two titles in this trilogy, The Journey toward God in Augustine's Confessions: Books I–VI, and Encounters with God in Augustine's Confessions: Books VII–IX, both also published by SUNY Press.

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Table of Contents



The Framework of the Enterprise
Unity and Separation in Augustine's Thinking
Speaking and Hearing as Primordial Phenomena
Problems of Access to the Text

1. The Nature of Memory (Book X)

The Meaning of Confession (10.1.1-10.6.7)
The Mind's Way to God (10.5.7-10.27.38)
Augustine's Spiritual Condition (10.28.39-10.41.66)
Christ, the Mediator (10.42.67-10.43.70)

2. The Problem of Time (Book XI)

Motives for Confession (11.1.1-11.2.4)
Creation and the Speaking Word (11.3.5-11.13.16)
What is Time? (11.14.17-11.20.26)
Measuring Temporality (11.21.27-11.27.36)
Memory, Apprehension, Expectation (11.28.37-11.28.38)
Stretched Out, Gathered Up, Stretching Forth (11.29.39-11.31.41)

3. The Hermeneutics of Creation (Books XII-XIII)

Form and the Abyss (12.1.1-12.13.16)
Augustine and His Critics (12.14.17-12.16.23)
Alternative Interpretations (12.17.24-12.22.31)
Meaning, Truth, and Infinite Richness (12.23.32-12.32.43)
Creation and the Trinity (13.1.1-13.11.12)
Figurative Interpretation (13.12.13-13.34.49)
The Telos of the New Creation (13.35.50-13.38.53)

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