Heythrop College Publications

Howells, Edward (2013) Understanding Augustine's On the Trinity as a Mystical Work. In: Nelstrop, Louise, Podmore, Simon D., (eds.) Christian Mysticism and Incarnational Theology: Between Transcendence and Immanence. Farnham, Surrey: Ashgate Publishing Ltd, pp. 155-164. [Book section]

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    Abstract

    Augustine’s great speculative work, On the Trinity, is something of a conundrum for scholars interested in his mysticism. Is On the Trinity a work of doctrinal clarification or intended for contemplative transformation? Probably both, but if so, how are doctrine and mysticism linked? In this chapter, the text is read as one intended for personal appropriation on the journey towards contemplation. The possibility is alluded to by modern scholars, but little explored (in contrast to mystical readings by Augustine’s medieval readers). What does it mean to seek to appropriate this explicitly trinitarian and doctrinal form of mysticism? How does it ‘work’ and where does it lead? The focus is on Augustine’s ‘image of God’ theology and his ‘psychological analogy’ for the Trinity in the human mind, as practical tools for human transformation. This appropriative and mystical reading of the text is contrasted with readings that approach the text primarily for doctrinal explanation, at an impersonal level.

    Item Type: Book section
    Department: Pastoral and Social Studies
    Theology
    Depositing User: Dr Edward Howells
    Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2014 16:06
    Last Modified: 09 Sep 2014 16:06
    URI: http://publications.heythrop.ac.uk/id/eprint/2154

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