Download Augustine's Confessions: Communicative Purpose and Audience by Annemare Kotze PDF

By Annemare Kotze

This publication is set the communicative objective and the viewers of the Confessions. It illuminates the measure to which the communicative function of the paintings is to transform its readers, i.e. a protreptic goal, and the measure to which the objective viewers might be pointed out as Augustine's power Manichaean readers. a short survey of attainable literary antecedents issues to the life of alternative works that include an analogous mix of an autobiographical part (a conversion tale) with a polemical and exegetical part (an argument that goals to persuade the reader of the benefits of a selected viewpoint) that characterizes the Confessions. The ebook offers a brand new viewpoint at the that means and constitution of Augustine's usually misunderstood masterpiece.

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Extra resources for Augustine's Confessions: Communicative Purpose and Audience (Supplements to Vigiliae Christianae, V. 71)

Example text

He sees the Confessions as fundamentally occupied with the problem of time and space, specifically the position of God, whom Augustine defines as outside of time and space, relative to man and the whole of creation that are per definition limited by time and space. One of the most piercing studies is Crosson’s ‘Structure and Meaning in Augustine’s Confessions’ (1989). What makes his findings fresh is the fact that he is not fettered by the expectations that a modern reader has of an autobiography. The structural symmetry Crosson suggests differs considerably from previous proposals: the first section of the Confessions consists of books 1 to 7 and the second of books 7 to 13 (1989, 94).

He follows one of the lines of the contrapuntal composition in a way that illustrates that we have here a masterly creative agent at work and that we should remain humble and cautious in our judgement of an ancient rhetorician’s compositional abilities. Although this is not Stock’s aim, his analysis of Augustine’s sustained emphasis on the importance of reading in the Confessions, and on the fact that Augustine’s conversion is presented as ‘the climax of his reading experience in Confessions 1–9’ (Stock 1996, 75) constitutes another argument in favour of my argument that Augustine intended the Confessions itself as conversional reading, as a protreptic text.

To convert. I also agree heartily with his proposal that we should not view the Confessions as autobiography, that our conception of the Confessions as a ‘somewhat disjointed’ autobiography is the result of the fact that ‘we fix our attention too much upon what Augustine tells us of his life—life as we superficially understand it—though he repeatedly says that his life (vita) is God’ (DiLorenzo 1985, 76). 56 Hawkins (1985) also takes for granted that the reader of the conversion narrative is supposed to imitate Augustine and be converted.

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