The Mysticism of Saint Augustine

Re-Reading the Confessions

By John Peter Kenney

© 2004 – Routledge

176 pages

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Paperback: 9780415288330
pub: 2005-04-18
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Hardback: 9780415288323
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e–Inspection Copy

About the Book

Augustine's vision at Ostia is one of the most influential accounts of mystical experience in the Western tradition, and a subject of persistent interest to Christians, philosophers and historians.

This book explores Augustine's account of his experience as set down in the Confessions and considers his mysticism in relation to his classical Platonist philosophy. John Peter Kenney argues that while the Christian contemplative mysticism created by Augustine is in many ways founded on Platonic thought, Platonism ultimately fails Augustine in that it cannot retain the truths that it anticipates. The Confessions offer a response to this impasse by generating two critical ideas in medieval and modern religious thought: firstly, the conception of contemplation as a purely epistemic event, in contrast to classical Platonism; secondly, the tenet that salvation is absolutely distinct from enlightenment.

About the Author

John Peter Kenney is Dean and Professor of Religious Studies at St Michael's College in Vermont.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
REL000000
RELIGION / General
REL051000
RELIGION / Philosophy
REL070000
RELIGION / Christianity / General
REL102000
RELIGION / Theology