To save content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about saving content to .
To save content items to your Kindle, first ensure email@example.com
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about saving to your Kindle.
Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
The central chapters of this book focus on the development and growth of insular origin legends over time by studying a key subset of themes that came to take on particular significance within this corpus. Tracing the expansion and increasing centrality of these themes over time allows us to witness the influence that individual texts within the corpus of material containing early insular origin legends had on the development of these legends themselves. Chapter Three focuses on kin-slaying, first tracing the influence of the biblical legend of Cain and the classical legend of Romulus and Remus on early medieval authors before examining contemporary evidence for kin-slaying in early medieval legal and historical texts. As insular origin narratives expanded, their authors recognised the narrative need to explain ancestral exile. The idea that a foundational ancestor had committed the crime of kin-slaying was introduced via the Brutus story in the ninth-century Historia Brittonum and proved subsequently popular, as exile was theoretically the legal sentence for this crime. As a narrative motif, kin-slaying allowed a people to retain the prestige of ties to ancient dynasties while embracing political independence in the present moment.
Since the Ogdoad, the Ennead, and the Source are described as beyond verbal description, how can written language convey anything at all about this ultimate experience of gnōsis? Discussion of oral transmission by means of logos, dissemination of written treatises, and the paradoxes of hermeneutics as understood in terms of Deconstruction (Derrida) and Hermeneutics (Gadamer).
Chapter 5 inquires with Augustine into the origins and metaphysics of humility and pride, and how we may come to know them. In books XI–XII of The City of God, Augustine explores this theme by reflecting on biblical and Platonic accounts of creation, especially of angels and human beings, and of the birth of Augustine’s famous “two cities” among them.
Chapter 8 treats books XIX–XXII, the final segment of The City of God, focusing on the last end or summum bonum. In these key books, the antidote to pride, flowing from humility, emerges in Augustine’s narrative as “participation” – free and willing partaking by creatures in God’s being, wisdom, and love. Crucial to this participation, and the genuine community or res publica it makes possible, are recognition of humanity’s creaturely status and the rejection of the pull toward autarchy or a false sense of self-sufficiency.
Chapter 2 explicates Augustine’s critique of political pride, as tending to foment “lust for domination” (libido dominandi), in books I–V of The City of God. In this opening segment, Augustine depicts pride as unnatural for human beings and unjust, thereby paving the way for a greater appreciation of the naturalness and justice of moderation and humility in political life.
Chapter 7 follows Augustine’s argument through books XV–XVIII of The City of God, showcasing humility and pride in action throughout human history, sacred and secular. Augustine presents a long series of exemplars of virtue and vice, including humility and pride, and so invites readers to reflect on these qualities’ roles and ramifications in personal, familial, social, and civic histories.
The Conclusion, marking the end of our long, rhetorical-dialectical journey with Augustine in The City of God, asks what we have learned, and why it might matter. It reflects on the multifaceted nature of Augustine’s defense of humility – experiential, historical, epistemological, metaphysical, and theological – and on the ways it offers hope for humans amid the challenges of civic life, today as well as in Augustine’s troubled era.
Chapter 3 marks the transition of Augustine’s argument in The City of God from politics to philosophy, by means of the civil religion of ancient Rome. In books VI and VII, Augustine endeavors to unmask counterfeits of virtuous humility – conventions propagated by civic and philosophic elites, including in some respects Varro and Seneca – and to exhort people to live and worship only in accord with their true dignity.
Chapter 6 considers The City of God books XIII and XIV, which complete Augustine’s inquiry into the origins of the two cities, one marked by humility and obedience, the other by pride and rebellion, and the metaphysics of pride and humility. Augustine’s defense of humility in this pair of books aims to reveal humility as fertile soil for abundant life, while pride pollutes the ground and withers life at its root.
Chapter 1 introduces readers to Augustine’s life, work, and thought on humility, pride, and politics. It surveys recent literature on this theme, especially works on early modern political thought, arguing that it leads readers back to The City of God, read and interpreted as a whole.
Chapter 4 treats Augustine’s dialogue with the Platonists in books VIII–X of The City of God on philosophic or natural theology. Augustine emphasizes the excessive, false humility he considers Apuleius to have promoted, and the philosophic pride that may have prompted Porphyry’s harsh critique of Christianity, even as he lauds their achievements together with those of Socrates, Plato, and Plotinus.
This book is the first to interpret and reflect on Augustine's seminal argument concerning humility and pride, especially in politics and philosophy, in The City of God. Mary Keys shows how contemporary readers have much to gain from engaging Augustine's lengthy argument on behalf of virtuous humility. She also demonstrates how a deeper understanding of the classical and Christian philosophical-rhetorical modes of discourse in The City of God enables readers to appreciate and evaluate Augustine's nuanced case for humility in politics, philosophy, and religion. Comprised of a series of interpretive essays and commentaries following Augustine's own order of segments and themes in The City of God, Keys' volume unpacks the author's complex text and elucidates its challenge, meaning, and importance for contemporary readers. It also illuminates a central, yet easily underestimated theme with perennial relevance in a classic work of political thought and religion.
The fifth chapter establishes Calvin’s dependence upon tradition in two different manners. First, it does so by examining those theologians upon whom Calvin relied. The chapter considers Calvin’s use of John Chrysostom, Bernard of Clairvaux, and Augustine of Hippo. Each case shows the earlier theologian’s authority for and influence upon Calvin. Then the chapter turns to three different doctrinal loci. These are the establishment of infant baptism, the Trinity, and predestination. In each instance, Calvin had to place his confidence in traditional sources, either to bolster his biblical work, or to replace what was impossible to produce biblically, as in the case of infant baptism.
This chapter considers the impact of theological doctrine on papal policy toward the Jews in medieval Europe. Specifically, it focuses on the ambivalence toward Jews and Judaism inherent in the Augustinian doctrine of Jewish witness and its expression in the decrees of Gregory the Great, Innocent III, and those popes who first condemned the Talmud in the 13th century.
Anger was a topic of significant reflection in antiquity, and it was taken up in new ways in early Christianity. As contemporary historians explore the myriad ways in which emotions were not only described but also presented, scripted, and made normative in historical sources, greater clarity is needed to understand the ways in which institutions were involved in shaping emotions. This essay argues that Augustine of Hippo's catechetical instruction on the Lord's Prayer constituted a critical institution for the transposition of classical discourses on anger and its healing into Christian education. Augustine understood the catechumenate itself as an institution for teaching patience and forbearance as antidotes to anger, and in these settings, he provided a variety of cognitive and spiritual exercises for diagnosing and treating anger. By articulating baptismal education as an emotion-shaping institution, we can better appreciate the ways in which Christian communities developed and expanded the inherited institutions of antiquity for ordering the emotions. In addition, such reflection allows us to evaluate the subtle interplays between emotions as felt subjective experiences and as reflective of social organizations that instilled and prescribed emotional norms.
After a brief survey of his life, this chapter examines the theology of St. Augustine, focusing on his views on faith and reason, theology of the Trinity and the psychological analogy, salvation, and spirituality (frui and uti).
This article expands our knowledge of the historical-philosophical process by which the dominant metaphysical account of the Christian God became ascendant. It demonstrates that Marius Victorinus proposed a peculiar model of ‘consubstantiality’ that utilised a notion of ‘existence’ indebted to the Aristotelian concept of ‘prime matter’. Victorinus employed this to argue that God is a unity composed of Father and Son. The article critically evaluates this model. It then argues that Augustine noticed one of the model's philosophical liabilities but did not publicly name Victorinus when he rejected it, thereby exemplifying the New Testament practice of private ‘rebuke’ (ἐλέγχɛιν).
In the history of philosophy, two lines can be distinguished, one represented by Plato, Augustine, and Descartes, emphasizing the centralizing movements in the self, another one embodied by Montaigne, Nietzsche, and Freud, proposing decentralizing movements in the self. As an example of present-day centralizing tendencies, the rise of meritocracy is discussed. An example of a contemporary decentralizing trend is the global–local nexus that implies a decentralizing multiplicity of self and identity. Whereas the centralizing movement in the self is focused on the realization of just one main form of positioning (personal excellence or superiority), the decentralizing movement results in the development of a wide variety of positions (full self-expression). Given this bidirectionality, the self is located in a field of tension resulting in an experience of uncertainty, or even stress, which challenges the dialogical self to liberate itself from imprisonment by alternating between centralization and decentralization.
This chapter aims to examine how Augustine appropriated Cicero’s philosophical thought. The first section studies the role of the Ciceronian protreptic Hortensius – the eudaimonism and the post-mortem destiny of the soul – in Augustine's philosophical project. The second analyzes the imprint of the philosophical dialogues of Cicero on Augustine’s early “Dialogues of Cassiciacum” (Contra academicos, De beata vita, De ordine, 386 ce); this influence is obvious in their literary genre and in the major philosophical topics they deal with (epistemology, ethics, providence). In his late masterpiece the City of God, Augustine discusses several Ciceronian notions (fate and foreknowledge; populus and respublica; passions) and translates them into a Christian framework: this is the focus of the third section. The last section outlines the evolution of Augustine’s judgment on Cicero, whom he considered a defender of the Neo-Academic position on the one hand, and, on the other, as a spokesman for Platonic philosophy.