Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Jimmy Chan: The Restoration Word Group in De Civitate Dei, Books XI-XXII: A Study of an Important Backbone of Augustine's Theology of History

This project is a lexical-contextual-theological study of the second part of De civitate Dei, Books XI to XXII, focusing on how a ‘restoration' word group (comprising the ‘restore' lemma in Latin) develops through the text. It is show that this word group serves as an important backbone for Augustine's theology of history, by providing it with semantic support and relating with its various key elements. The occurrences of all the Latin lemma carrying the ‘restore' nuance in the text are identified (by using professional software of Augustinian studies and through effective communication with affiliated Augustinian scholars). Then, for each of the three main divisions within De civitate Dei, namely, Books XI to XIV, Books XV to XVIII and Books XVIX to XXII, key passages comprising the ‘restore' lemma are studied, in terms of how they play the lexical function within the given context of the text. The restoration word group is shown to provide a fresh reading of De civitate Dei and open up a new perspective of studying Augustine's theology of history which is so prominent in the work. Specifically, four restoration dimensions, namely, the restoration of the body and soul, the restoration of the predestined number of saints, the restoration of the virtues and morals, the restoration of faith and hope of the saints on earth, are identified. These restoration dimensions effectively expresses and connects the key elements of Augustine's theology of history, namely, universality out of divine providence, biblicality, Christocentrality and directionality (or linearity).

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