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Outward SignsThe Powerlessness of External Things in Augustine's Thought$
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Phillip Cary

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195336498

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195336498.001.0001

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(p.253) Conclusion
Outward Signs

Phillip Cary (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

One can reject Augustine's inward turn without rejecting classical theism. The crucial alternative is to find the eternal being of God in external things, as in the Orthodox reverence for icons, the Catholic piety of the sacraments, the Protestant faith in the word of God, and, behind them all, the church's devotion to Christ's life‐giving flesh. This outward turn means finding God as another person, which is to say, someone outside us. It also means, contrary to liberal theology and the modern turn to experience, that Christian experience is not the source of Christian faith but is derived from external things in which we believe—external things that form our hearts by giving form to our life in community.

Keywords:   Augustine, inward turn, classical theism, icons, sacraments, faith, person, external, experience

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