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Time and history in catholic christianity, especially Augustine

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Chapter Summary

The New Testament conception of time is wholly naïve: as in Judaism and to some extent in Parseeism, a distinction is made between the present aeon, which extends up to the second coming of Christ, and the future aeon. The early Christian sense of time was constituted by the ephapax - by proleptic eschatology and the meaning of the present for salvation - no less than by eschatology proper. The early Christian Eucharist was not only an ethic of remembrance and the motif of sacrifice but also a Messianic banquet of rejoicing, an anticipation of the Lord's eschatological beraka with his disciples in the kingdom of God. There is no doubt that in theology we find ourselves on a very different level from that of liturgy or mysticism, and that the wind that blows in St. Augustine is very different from that of early Christianity. Augustine speaks of time because his adversaries asked him.

Keywords: Catholic Christianity; Christian Eucharist; ephapax; Judaism; New Testament; St. Augustine



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