Sunday, July 25, 2010

De Aurelio Augustino

those are long o's, just to be clear. Ablative, you know.

Augustine is complicated for a lot of reasons, perhaps foremost by reason of sheer volume. Everything he wrote, it seems, is somewhere contradicted, or at any rate controlled, by something else. So for instance, as the antidogmatists all uniformly cite, from his De Genesi ad Litteram, is the point about exegesis being a matter of charity and little else. But we must remember that this is the very same bishop who was okay with torturing the Donatists for heresy. So which is it? Both, obviously, or else he changed his mind.


  1. To put it charitably, his view of charity was not quite yours or mine.

  2. I wonder what you mean by that? I share neither Augustine's taste for allegory nor for violence, but I'm not sure that either is exegetically impossible.