Saturday, 7 February 2015

John Kenney: ‘Nondum me esse’: Augustine’s Early Ontology

While ontological discourse is unfashionable in contemporary theology, it was prominent in the works of Augustine of Hippo. This paper will concentrate on Augustine’s attribution of “esse” and related terms to God in his early works. Contrasting readings of Augustine’s ontological discourse will be reviewed, especially those of Émilie Zum Brunn and Jean-Luc Marion. Texts under consideration will be drawn from the Cassiciacum dialogues, the anti-Manichaean treatises, and Confessions. The paper will conclude by clarifying the larger implications of Augustine’s commitment to ontological theology in the context of his account of contemplation.

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