New Intro to Augustine

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Matthew Levering has just published The Theology of Augustine: An Introductory Guide to His Most Important Works. Here’s two of the endorsements:

The current reawakening of interest in Augustine’s theology has created a great need for an introduction that is elevated enough to be of interest to specialists and yet accessible enough to be read by students and readers from other disciplines. Levering’s study meets exactly that need. It points the way for those who are interested in how Augustine is relevant to our own theological quandaries, and it guides those who are just beginning to find their way in things Augustinian by helping them see theological themes as they are embodied in whole texts. An excellent contribution! (John Cavadini, Professor of Theology and Director of the Institute for Church Life, University of Notre Dame)
Matthew Levering applies his characteristic clarity of exposition and acuity of analysis to seven major works of Augustine; the result wonderfully substantiates his introductory claim that “Augustine speaks as powerfully today as he did sixteen hundred years ago.” (Khaled Anatolios, Professor of Historical Theology, Boston College School of Theology and Ministry)

Particularly interesting in these blurbs is the claim that St. Augustine, who lived AD 354-430, is relevant today.

I think this is right; I’ve often thought that among all the Fathers, thinking Christians clergy or lay need to master three of them (something I’ve yet to do of course, and something that would be a lifelong process): St. Irenaeus, given the libertine, Gnostic times in which we live and in which we face ever more persecution; St. Augustine, given his existential, personal relationship with Jesus as evinced in the Confessions and his thoughts on the Christian faith as lived at the end of an empire as he records them in The City of God; and St. Thomas Aquinas, as we desperately need to recover the categories of nature and reason in an age that rejects both.

I’ll have to order a copy of Levering’s latest, and hopefully get to it this summer, as I need to brush up on my Augustine, as do we all.

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