From Time to Eternity: Augustine, Milton, and the Problem of Reconciling the Eternal with the Temporal 公开

Madani, Ali John (2010)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/5999n351b?locale=zh
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Abstract


Spoken in a prayer to his God, Augustine opens his philosophical discussion in
the Confessions with a question into the nature of time and its role as a barrier to
fully encountering the divine. Augustine, not alone in his question, echoes a
perennial frustration with the relationship between things eternal and things
temporal. This work attempts to address the seemingly irreconcilable separation
through an analysis of Book XI of Augustine's major work in the context of early
Christianity and with the backdrop of Ancient Greek and Neo-Platonist thought.
Having bridged the gap between time and eternity through the use of the eternal
Word, this project extends its scope to investigate Augustinian philosophy's
influence on John Milton, specifically the poetry prior to Paradise Lost. The
early work of Sonnet 16, On Time, and On the Morning of Christ's Nativity
provide a frame by which to understand the centrality of time's operations and
its importance for the faithful seeking God. Finally, a focus on the static postures
that pervade Milton's poetry demonstrates the debt he owes to Augustine and
the vision he imagines for a future in which time and eternity are one.


Table of Contents


Table of Contents

Introduction ………………………………………………………………….........…..….…………2


I. Keeping Time: A History of Time's Relation to Eternity………….............5
Plato, Aristotle
Plotinus
Augustine, Aquinas


II. Unwinding an Augustinian Paradox: Connecting Time and Eternity… 16
Structuring the Confessions
Manichaeism
God's perception and eternity
Distention


III. Crossing Time: Bridging the Gap from Augustine to Milton…….…….. 33
God
Knowledge
Evil, Privation, and Perversion
Memory and Sin


IV. [In]stances: 'Sitting,' 'Standing,' and 'Lying' with God …………….……. 49
Sonnet 16
On Time

Nativity Ode


Conclusion ……………………………………..………………………………………….....…….. 69


Works Cited and Consulted …………………………………………………………......... 71

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