“Awful/Awesome St. Augustine: Is the Body the Cornerstone of his Theology?”

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterScientificpeer-review


This chapter assesses the role of the human body in Augustine’s theology, highlighting numerous aspects of Augustine’s thought, for example, on original sin, sexuality and marriage. In doing so, it will argue against certain statements of Margaret Miles, such as: (i) that in Augustine’s later works, we see an increased interest and focus on the human body, and (ii), to such an extent that the body became the cornerstone of Augustine’s theology. My conclusion is that Augustine’s treatment of the human body has a highly paradoxical and ambiguous character. In every context, the soul holds primacy above the body. Augustine’s most positive appreciation for the human body is most evident in his mystagogy of the resurrected (spiritual) body and the Body of Christ in a sacramental context.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Body, Mystagogy and Church Fathers
Subtitle of host publicationANL (Annua Nuntia Lovaniensa, series ed. Anthony Dupont)
EditorsNienke Vos, Paul van Geest, Anthony Dupont
PublisherPeeters Publishers
Number of pages423
ISBN (Print)978-90-429-4850-1
Publication statusPublished - 2022
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameLate Antique History and Religion


  • Augustine Body


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