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24 - The Duplex Via: Authority and Reason at Cassiciacum

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 October 2023

Lewis Ayres
Affiliation:
University of Durham and Australian Catholic University, Melbourne
Michael W. Champion
Affiliation:
Australian Catholic University, Melbourne
Matthew R. Crawford
Affiliation:
Australian Catholic University, Melbourne
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Summary

The continuity of the Christian faith with classical philosophy is one of the common variables to Augustine’s three earliest dialogues. Augustine is particularly interested in the relation between faith and reason or, more precisely, the relation between Christian auctoritas and reason. This chapter contends that Augustine does not conceive of authority and reason as two diverse paths of ascent, but as distinct elements that comprise one integrated path of ascent. For Augustine, authority and reason are coordinate means of ascent to wisdom and happiness. The dialectal character of authority and reason operate in tandem to purify and enlighten the soul for the ascent to God. In the dialogues, it is the role of reason to offer an intellectus fidei, an intellectual account of the mysteries delivered by authority.

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The Intellectual World of Late Antique Christianity
Reshaping Classical Traditions
, pp. 443 - 465
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

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