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Title: The mysteries of order and agonism in late modern conjugal-sexual ethics : an Augustinian proposal in conversation with William E. Connolly
Author: Keuer, Andrew J.
ISNI:       0000 0004 5918 078X
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2015
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This thesis provides a constructive theology of Christian marriage rooted in an Augustinian Trinitarian grammar of order. In conversation with a contemporary agonistic ethicist, William Connolly, I identify sensibilities in the Augustinian tradition that I argue need reemphasis in late modern times. Section One consists of three chapters, each of which analyzes William Connolly's interpretation of the biblical texts that he engages to contest an “Augustinian” reading which projects a natural order that promises to attune self and society. In chapter one I look at Connolly's ethic of self-formation that emerges from his sower parable, detailing the relation between the cultivation of the self, marriage, and sexuality in late modernity. Chapter two turns to Connolly's reading of the Edenic narrative, attending to his normative ethic of responsibility to the agon that offers strategies for inverting gender hierarchy that he claims Augustine reifies. Chapter three focuses on the biblical book of Job through which Connolly argues that Augustinian apophatic order produces an inferior ethics of compassion in comparison to an ontology of fugitive abundance. Section Two of the thesis shifts focus to two groups of Augustine's writings: the Cassiciacum dialogues and Confessions (with contemporaneously published treatises on marriage and celibacy). Chapter four finds an early Augustinian ecclesiology at Cassiciacum in which a community inclusive of contemplative and domestic forms of life together become a mode of indirect contemplation of the Triune God who orders all things. In chapter five, I interpret Augustine's famous conversion narrative in Book 8 of Confessions, claiming his learning to “read” the sacred sign of marriage in the Milanese catholic church was essential to his exercising faith in the Incarnate Son.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Sexual ethics ; Marriage