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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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Words: A Paradigm

Words: A Paradigm

(p.54) 2 Words: A Paradigm
Beauty and Revelation in the Thought of Saint Augustine


Oxford University Press

This chapter examines how the very darkness and obscurity of man's temporal life, and especially of the revelation of God recounted in Scripture, becomes a positive quality for Augustine. It is treated as sacramental, as inspiring man's desire and love, as demanding of him an intuitive, imaginative, symbolic, image-making apprehension of God's Word. Owing to his former profession as a rhetor, and his continuous and sustained reflection, as a bishop, upon the task of communicating divine truth as embodied in Scripture, Augustine had much cause to reflect upon the nature of language and communication. His philosophical and theological reflections, and his personal experience in these matters, serve to illustrate his attitude to the spiritual apprehension of truth and beauty within, and the perception of them by outward means; in this case, by spoken or written words.

Keywords:   God's grace, inner words, outer words, divine truth, Scripture, man's fall, De Trinitate

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