Thursday, 5 February 2015

Veronica Roberts: Latreia and Idolatry: Augustine and the Quest for Right Relationship

Our workshop brings together nine presentations in an interdisciplinary conversation about the place and meaning of latreia and idolatry in human relationships. It consists of two distinct but related “movements”: (1) an exploration of the anthropology underlying Augustine’s understanding of relationship; (2) an investigation into the political consequences that follow from Augustine’s account of right relationship (or failure thereof).
In the first movement, M. Camacho will explore man’s "being-from" in light of God’s Trinitarian relationship and Van Versendaal will consider man as “divine signum” in light of Christ. Next, P. Camacho will present Augustinian freedom not simply as “free choice” but “co-activity”, made possible by right relationship to the Good while Fr. Seiler will focus on the role of the priest’s freedom in the relationship between Christ and his alter Christus. Finally, McFadden will analyze Augustine’s use of the soliloquy in order to overcome pride and to establish genuine friendship in Christ.
In the second movement, Roberts will argue that the earthly city’s tripartite idolatry undermines genuine political community. Busch will then observe that Augustine’s political criticisms draw dialectically upon the very philosophers with whom Augustine disagrees, but that this dialectical relationship must be limited for Augustine the sojourner. Next, Lamb will consider how diverse citizens can foster civic friendships to pursue common objects even while casting their ultimate hopes on different horizons. Finally, Nunziato will argue that the divergence between the two cities’ conceptions of economic activity is rooted in different conceptions of sacrifice.
An open discussion will follow.

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