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Sexual DissidenceAugustine to Wilde, Freud to Foucault$
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Jonathan Dollimore

Print publication date: 1991

Print ISBN-13: 9780198112259

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198112259.001.0001

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Augustine: Perversion and Privation

Augustine: Perversion and Privation

(p.131) 9 Augustine: Perversion and Privation
Sexual Dissidence

Jonathan Dollimore

Oxford University Press

Saint Augustine has been seen to be one of the few great (male) geniuses who changed the direction of civilisation. This book does not share this view of Augustine or his place in history. From the point of view of the book, Augustine was the product of a Christian narrative which he powerfully influenced and within which he has been scripted ever since; the synthesis, development, suppression, and innovation which characterised his own work has been continued with its subsequent transmission. Augustine regarded sin as intrinsic to human nature and always bound up with perversion, transgression, and death: the perversion of free will leads man to transgress, and it is transgression which brings death into the world. However, evil is not a force or entity in its own right, nor was it a part of nature; evil should be understood as privation, a lack of good.

Keywords:   Saint Augustine, sin, perversion, transgression, privation, evil

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