Dwelling in the land of the Confessions
Typescript of a lecture delivered on November 22, 2013 by Michael Brogan as part of the Formal Lecture Series.
Brogan, Michael J.
St. John's College
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Augustine, Saint, Bishop of Hippo. Confessiones.
Bib # 81125
"While Augustine believes he can find in the writings of the Neoplatonists themselves the doctrine of the Word that was with God and that was God, not even he claims to apprehend the incarnation of that Word on any basis other than faith. My ambition tonight is to see how far we can go toward making sense of the intensely personal approach of the Confessions without appealing to postulates drawn from sacred doctrine. While I suspect that Augustine's unprecedented way of applying the Delphic maxim becomes fully intelligible only against the background of his specifically Christian commitments, we might nevertheless begin to understand the peculiar strategy he employs in the Confessions by considering the deficiencies that come to light there of a philosophy conducted in a wholly impersonal key. However dazzling a glimpse it may afford of the eternal truth, Neoplatonic introspection, we shall see, fails to open out onto what Augustine calls 'the way that leads not only to beholding our blessed fatherland but also to dwelling therein.'" - excerpt from lecture