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Beauty and Revelation in the Thought of Saint Augustine$
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Carol Harrison

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780198263425

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198263425.001.0001

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Early Thought

Early Thought

(p.3) 1 Early Thought
Beauty and Revelation in the Thought of Saint Augustine


Oxford University Press

This chapter describes the early thoughts of Augustine. The first section examines the role of beauty in Augustine's conversion. Here, Augustine recounts the questions which he asked himself as a young teacher of rhetoric, at the age of 26 or 27, before writing his first work, a treatise on ‘the beautiful and the fitting’, De Pulchro et Apta. The second section describes the themes in his early works, such as the body and soul, and the role of the senses, liberal arts, poetry, and music. The third section charts the different approaches to Augustine's aesthetic thought, including the theories of Svoboda, OʼConnell, and the present approach to beauty as a revealed form. The last section describes the doctine of the Fall, and its pivotal place in Augustine's aesthetic.

Keywords:   Augustine's aesthetic, De Pulchro, Confessions, Contra Academicos, Svoboda

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