Friday, 1 May 2015

Martin Claes: Anthony’s oratio perpetua in Augustine’s mystagogy of inner transformation. From oratio perpetua in Evagrius’ Vita Antonii towards congruity in Augustine’s De Trinitate

Augustine’s attitude towards monasticism is dominated by ambiguity. On the one hand he criticizes monastic communities for their exaggerated expectations from ascetics and their optimistic view on the potential of human will. On the other hand, on crucial moments Augustine’s oeuvre testifies of great admiration for the literary personage of Antony.
In this paper I shall argue that, despite his critical stance towards monastic communities, it was the reception of the literary personage of the desert father Antony (oratio perpetua) that has contributed on the level of epistemology to the growth of Augustine’s mystagogy of inner transformation after the image of God (De Trinitate XIV.5.23). This inner process finds its expression on ethical and social level when Christian community life is incorporated in the living Body of Christ.
In this communication I will concentrate on a text reading of Evagrius’ Vita Antonii and Augustine’s De Trinitate. It is the aim of this communication to make some preliminary observations on Augustine’s preoccupation with congruity of words and acts on the level of epistemology in the context of Evagrius’ Vita Antonii.

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