Reading Augustine: On Christology, Anthropology, Cognitive Science and the Human Body

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Abstract

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Theology has shown itself to have a creative potential, especially in periods of crisis. These challenge the internal cohesion of the discipline as well as question its communicative ability and relevance to wider audiences.

For example, contemporary problems in migration, ecology and terrorism seldom seek their answers in theology. This is because these tend to be framed as ‘how’ questions, to which the natural and social sciences can readily give answer. Meanwhile, most ‘why’ questions still await their resolution. Theology is about ‘why’ questions. It concentrates on God, but includes also the embodied state of human being. Unity and diversity are overarching concepts that hover over the continuous discourse of theological anthropology and might prove fruitful in this regard, yet theology’s prophetic voice is not so well adapted these days to engagement with an interested general audience. To remedy this, a dialogue of hospitality is needed—One which embraces the fact that biology, psychology and the cognitive sciences are discovering for themselves how the study of religion can produce insights into the empirical patterns of human life.

This book is about just this respectful dialogue between patristic theology, philosophical theology, the cognitive science of religion and biology. It loops in a recurrent, threefold Christological meditation on Jesus as a servant towards Christ the Logos-Word, and closes with readings on the anthropological topic of resurrection and after-life. In the theological experiment of this book, Augustine reveals his difficulty in answering in detail the ‘how’ questions of contemporary reflection on the human body. And yet, at the same time, the readings of Augustine’s texts provided here are shown to offer contexts and narratives which supplement the good work being done in the sciences and which may encourage theology and the humanities to join to this work its own distinctive voice, and its own distinctive answers to the ‘why?’ of human life.

Original languageEnglish
PublisherBloomsbury Academic
Publication statusIn preparation - 2019

Publication series

NameReading Augustine
PublisherBloomsbury Academic

Keywords

  • Augustine
  • Christology
  • anthroplogy
  • philosopical theology
  • CSR
  • Body

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