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Evil and the Augustinian Tradition

$47.99 (C)

  • Date Published: February 2007
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521035446

$ 47.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • Evil and the Augustinian Tradition explores the "family biography" of the Augustinian tradition by looking at Augustine's work and its development in the writings of Hannah Arendt and Reinhold Niebuhr. Mathewes argues that the Augustinian tradition offers us a powerful, though commonly misconstrued, proposal for understanding and responding to evil's challenges. The book casts new light on Augustine, Niebuhr, and Arendt, as well as on the problem of evil, the nature of tradition, and the role of theological and ethical discourse in contemporary thought.

    • Focuses on the difficulties which evil and sin present in modernity and postmodernity
    • Charts the connections between ancient and modern thinkers
    • Addresses a broad field of conversation partners - includes discussions of Gothic culture, the Holocaust, and secular philosophy and psychoanalysis
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "This rewarding book expands our imagination for Augustinianism, the phenomena of evil, and the nature of tradition. It is interdisciplinary without sacrificing rigor, and provocative but not dogmatic. It engages in moralism, but chastens the hold morality has on us. The book deserves a wide audience in moral philosophy, social criticism, theology, and religious ethics." Ethics

    "The argument is gracefully, and at points poetically, presented, and, in a sometimes indirect but effective manner, is solidly grounded in the cross and resurrection." First Things

    "This is a brave and successful book. With subtlety and profundity it takes the problem of evil by the horns in a way that a modern pastor will find useful. There is much meat for reflection in what may well prove a book to start a lively debate in seminaries." Interpretation

    "This is a rich and thought-provoking book. Mathewes writes accessibly and with a light touch, and he is able to speak to many live debates within contemporary theology...Mathewes speaks in his own voice-one worth listening to." Anglican Theological Review

    "Charles T. Mathewes thoughtfully readdresses a perennial philosophical and theological problem... Mathewes' book should be of interest to both philosophers and theologians." Virginia Quarterly Review

    "A book about evil is always timely, and Mathewes's bursts with energy." Religious Studies Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2007
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521035446
    • length: 284 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 151 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.431kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    List of abbreviations
    Introduction: reaching disagreement
    Part I. Preliminaries: Evil and the Augustinian Tradition:
    1. Modernity and evil
    2. The Augustinian tradition and its discontents
    Part II. Genealogy: Remembering the Augustinian Tradition:
    3. Sin as perversion: Reinhold Niebuhr's Augustinian psychology
    4. Evil as privation: Hannah Arendt's Augustinian ontology
    Part III. The Challenge of the Augustinian Tradition to Evil:
    5. Demythologising evil
    Conclusion: realising incomprehension, discerning mystery
    Works cited

  • Author

    Charles T. Mathewes, University of Virginia
    Charles T. Mathewes is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Virginia, where he teaches theology, ethics, and religion and culture. He has published in The Journal of Religious Ethics, Modern Theology, The Journal of Religion, Anglican Theological Review and The Hedgehog Review.

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