Review Of "Augustine: His Thought In Context" By T. K. Scott

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The strength of this book lies in its careful and insightful examination of some of the most important aspects of Augustine's thought in terms of the intellectual context of his time. For example, the existence of God was so universally accepted that the issues between Augustine and his opponents concerned not God's reality, but God's nature. After discussing Augustine's cultural setting, Scott (Purdue Univ.), a long-time student of Augustine, focuses on Augustine's prereflective opinions about God's nature, examines the Manichaean and Platonic influences on him, and, finally, considers the imperialistic conception, which Scott concludes to be Augustine's ultimate view. The author believes that Augustine's conception of God generated unresolvable tensions in his thought, notably between human responsibility and God's active direction of every event. Although the book has many virtues, it fails to deal with the full context of Augustine's thought; little is said of the Christian theological and exegetical tradition that so clearly influenced Augustine's thinking. Nevertheless, highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduate; graduate; faculty.


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