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Encounters with God in Augustine's Confessions
Books VII-IX
Encounters with God in Augustine's Confessions
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Carl G. Vaught - Author
Price: $35.00 
Hardcover - 187 pages
Release Date: July 2004
ISBN10: 0-7914-6107-6
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-6107-5

Price: $26.95 
Paperback - 187 pages
Release Date: January 2007
ISBN13: 978-0-7914-6108-2

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This reappraisal of the middle section of Augustine's Confessions covers the period of Augustine's conversion to Christianity. The author argues against the prevailing Neoplatonic interpretation of Augustine.

This book continues Carl G. Vaught's thoroughgoing reinterpretation of Augustine's Confessions—one that rejects the view that Augustine is simply a Neoplatonist and argues that he is also a definitively Christian thinker. As a companion volume to the earlier Journey toward God in Augustine's Confessions: Books I–VI, it can be read in sequence with or independently of it. This work covers the middle portion of the Confessions, Books VII–IX. Opening in Augustine's youthful maturity, Books VII–IX focus on the three pivotal experiences that transform his life: the Neoplatonic vision that causes him to abandon materialism; his conversion to Christianity that leads him beyond Neoplatonism to a Christian attitude toward the world and his place in it; and the mystical experience he shares with his mother a few days before her death, which points to the importance of the Christian community. Vaught argues that time, space, and eternity intersect to provide a framework in which these three experiences occur and which give Augustine a three-fold access to God.

"Vaught does an excellent job of weaving together the philosophical, the narrative, and the literary dimensions of Augustine's text. His treatment of the question of Augustine's alleged Neoplatonism is the best I have seen, showing convincingly that although he was influenced by it, he was not a Neoplatonist." — Ann Hartle, author of Michel de Montaigne: Accidental Philosopher

"The author sustains a creative yet scholarly interpretation of the Confessions that is both refreshing and provocative." — Douglas R. Anderson, coeditor of Classical American Pragmatism: Its Contemporary Vitality

Carl G. Vaught is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy at Baylor University. He is the editor and author of several books, including The Journey toward God in Augustine's Confessions: Books I–VI, 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 Philosophical Conversion (Book VII)

The Concept of God (7.1.1–7.2.3)
The Problem of Evil
Neoplatonism and Christianity (7.9.13–7.9.15)
The Neoplatonic Vision (7.10.16–7.17.23)
The Need for a Mediator (7.18.24–7.21.27)

2. Augustine's Christian Conversion (Book VIII)

Initial Hesitation (8.1.1–8.1.2)
The Conversion of Victorinus (8.2.3–8.4.9)
The Bondage of the Will (8.5.10–8.5.12)
Stages of Liberation (8.6.13–8.11.27)
The Decisive Moment (8.12.28–8.12.29)
The Christian Community (8.12.30)

3. Mother and Son: A Shared Mystical Experience (Book IX)

Retirement and Baptism (9.1.1–9.7.16)
Monica's Character (9.8.17–9.9.22)
The Garden in Ostia (9.10.23–9.10.26)
The Death of Augustine's Mother (9.11.27–9.13.37)




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