Rereading Historical Theology

Rereading Historical Theology

Before, During, and After Augustine.
Augustine of Hippo is
arguably the most influential author in the history of Christian thought and
institutions. Yet he has been revered by some reviewers and vilified by others.
Contemporary critical approaches to historical authors can illuminate features
of Augustine's thought and activities that are not noticed when reviewers'
attention is either exclusively sympathetic or intransigently critical. Anyone
who seeks to present an Augustine who has relevance for the twenty-first
century must somehow hold together delight in the beauty of his prose and the
profundity of his thought with dismay over some of the intentions and effects
of his teachings. The essays in this book endeavor to read Augustine
simultaneously critically and appreciatively. Miles places his thought in the
context of his classical heritage and notices how pervasive in later Christian
authors are the themes that informed Augustine's thought. Understanding his
writings as a passionate effort to describe a metaphysical universe that
accounts for the endlessly fascinating mystery of embodied life makes many of
Augustine's proposals accessible, useful, and delightful in the context of
contemporary quandaries and issues. His conclusions are less important than his
method: In Augustine, knowledge and life mutually illuminate, energize, and
critique each other, exemplifying the practice of a fully human life. Exploring
some of his most persistent themes, these essays seek to show how Augustine's
theology works.
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Rereading Historical Theology


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