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Title: Augustine's use of scripture in the anti-Donatist writings, with special reference to the marks of the church
Author: Morrison, A.
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2001
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This thesis investigates and elucidates Augustine's use of Scripture in the anti-Donatist writings, with special reference to the debated issues of the catholicity, purity and unity of the church. An introductory chapter sets the context for the study by tracing Augustine's developing engagement both with Donatism and with Scripture from the time of his ordination in 391. A further chapter considers the hermeneutical theory, as expounded in the De Doctrina Christiana, which informed his exegetical practice during all of the relevant period. Of special significance for our study is the interpretative function there assigned to caritas and Augustine's adaptation of the rules of Tyconius which provided the seed-bed for his own totus Christus construct. In the three main chapters of the thesis, an inductive study is offered of Augustine's polemical handling of biblical texts in relation to the debated marks of the Christian church, whose nature was of central importance in the theological debate between Catholics and Donatists. These chapters establish the general consistency of his exegetical theory and practice and the literal - figurative (spiritual) interpretative duality in terms of which his handling of Scripture is regularly controlled. Comparison is made between Augustine's differentiated use of Scripture in the treatises and in the preached material. The depth and richness of the contribution of his figurative exegesis to his distinctive (and anti-Donatist) ecclesiology is explored, which particular attention to the function of his totus Christus hermeneutical tool. In the concluding chapter, our study of Augustine's use of Scripture is related to recent important changes in scholarly assessment of the figurative method of interpretation - changes which have given rise to an appreciation, lacking in the English-reading world for most of the twentieth century, of the enduring quality of Augustine's spiritual exegesis.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available