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Title: The role of intentio in Augustine's understanding of the soul's ascent to God : from de animae quantitate to de trinitate
Author: Lane, Margaret Enid
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2013
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Augustine’s strategic use of the activity of intentio, (the volitional and tensional activity of directing the mind’s attention) as he begins to reflect on ascending to the one God who is Trinitarian, transforms intentio from an aspect of anthropological and psychological analysis into an integral part of a Trinitarian theory of cognition, whereby intentio becomes assimilated to the will, which in Augustine’s thought is connected with the Holy Spirit. This thesis argues that there is a trajectory in Augustine’s use of intentio from its barely discernible traces in de animae quantitate to its explicit development in de trinitate. The stages of ascent in an. quant. form the framework of this thesis and they do so against old advice that an. quant. ‘represents an immaturity soon outgrown and it ought not to be quoted in illustration of the characteristically Augustinian positions.’ (Burnaby 1960, 63) Instead, while mindful of Augustine’s own statement that ‘I am among that number who write while developing and develop while writing,’ (ep. 143:2) the approach here takes its cue from the general reinstatement of the early works recently effected by Carol Harrison (2006) in the hope that an. quant. be specifically rehabilitated. Using a methodology which is largely, though not exclusively exegetical, we will move in each chapter from a description of the stage of ascent in an. quant. and the power of the soul involved, to a consideration of the significance and role of intentio as we find it in trin. The overall conclusion will be that the volitional, directional and tensional aspects of intentio converge to make intentio a unifying theme in Augustine’s understanding of the soul’s ascent to God.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available