Download Augustine's Confessions: Communicative Purpose and Audience by Annemare Kotze PDF

By Annemare Kotze

This e-book is set the communicative objective and the viewers of the Confessions. It illuminates the measure to which the communicative function of the paintings is to transform its readers, i.e. a protreptic goal, and the measure to which the objective viewers should be pointed out as Augustine's capability Manichaean readers. a short survey of attainable literary antecedents issues to the lifestyles of different works that include an analogous blend of an autobiographical part (a conversion tale) with a polemical and exegetical part (an argument that goals to persuade the reader of the benefits of a selected viewpoint) that characterizes the Confessions. The e-book presents a brand new viewpoint at the that means and constitution of Augustine's frequently misunderstood masterpiece.

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Additional info for Augustine's Confessions: Communicative Purpose and Audience (Supplements to Vigiliae Christianae, V. 71)

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Another common approach that scholars have used in their endeavours to explain the unity of the Confessions is to look at the meaning of the title, Confessiones, and its derivatives, and at how the work embodies the idea of confession. Here I want to refer only to two recent suggestions about the meaning of the title (DiLorenzo’s arguments [1983], that also concern the title of the work, I have already discussed above). Scott’s perceptive discussion (1992, 35–43) of the philosophical, foren43 ‘In Augustine’s Confessions, the psalmic modes of confession and rhetorical epideixis or demonstration merge together in the praise of God and the vituperation of sin and manifest to men the spiritual psychotherapy of God’s mercy (misericordia) and the beneficent designs of his providence’ (125).

He argues that Augustine’s first exegetical endeavours, following shortly after his conversion, were focussed on the creation narrative in Genesis and partly had the aim to justify his conversion to his erstwhile friends or even to win them over to Christianity. He also points to the fact that Augustine’s preoccupation with the creation story has Manichaean origins. Perler (1931), advanced the thesis that the unity of the Confessions was to be sought among other things in the anti-Manichaean content of the autobiographical books as well as in the exegetical section, while Stiglmayr (1932), in his arguments to support his thesis that the work is meant as a sacrifice to God, portrays his awareness of the how focussed on his audience Augustine is.

In the following discussions I focus more on what research has proposed up to now concerning the audience of the Confessions, but, as I remarked at the outset of this section, matters of audience and communicative purpose are difficult to separate. That the Confessions is aimed at a human audience in spite of its prayer stance of addressing only God throughout, is commonly accepted in scholarship. 5 (cui narro haec? … generi humano …)? Are there any clues as to what this audience may be like, of specifically who they may be?

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