Des Hommes et Des Dieux: Augustine's Unde et Quomodo Open Access

Delaney, Evan (2011)

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In book seven of Augustine's Confessions, Augustine attempts to see whence and how God can exist in an incorporeal nature. As the wording shows here, his whence and how, or in Latin, unde et quomodo, reveal that his solution must be two-fold. However, there are many scholars who believe that his answer is rather one-fold and go on to overly underscore the impact of Platonism on Augustine's thought. It is true that the Platonic ascent in book seven allows Augustine to see Truth, but this is not sufficient. His vision is temporary and he wants to grasp Truth permanently. He needs his unde, Christ as found in the Scriptures. Yet scholars ignore this and suggest that Augustine's answer stems from the Platonists. They are mistaken. Augustine is wholly Augustine and on the foundation of his Christian belief, which was instilled to him by his mother at an early age, he picks and chooses whatever tools he sees fit to add to his toolbox, his quomodo. And even with the Platonic ascent, the question must be asked, "Who is Augustine's guide?" Surely, this guide is not found in the Neoplatonists of Plotinus, Porphyry, Iamblichus, or others. Indeed, what distinguishes Augustine from the Platonists in one crucial aspect is that he uses a completely different intermediary. In this thesis we will critique scholars who overemphasize and limit Augustine's thoughts to the realm of Platonism.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Chapter One: A Two Fold-Solution 15

Chapter Two: On the Development of Augustine's Unde et Quomodo 38

Chapter Three: Two Analogies and Finding an Appropriate Title for Augustine 70

Conclusion 82

Works Cited 84

Appendix 87

a. Latin Block Quotes of Passages Cited from Confessions 88

b. Diotima's Speech Concerning the Ascent in Attic Greek 99

c. Diotima's Speech Concerning the Ascent in English 101

d. Diotima's Ascent, Notes, and Questions 103

e. Using Art as Analogy 108

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