Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here

Augustine and poetic exegesis

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this chapter

+ Tax (if applicable)

Chapter Summary

When one thinks of Augustine in connection with poetry and literary aesthetics, certain topics immediately come to mind, such as his attitudes towards classical literature and rhetoric, as well as their implications for Christian teaching, especially in the De doctrina christiana. In fact, these well-known topics have become commonplaces of Augustinian scholarship. As far as the aesthetic element in Christian literature is concerned, it has been firmly subordinated to didactic purposes in prose preaching and it has been reduced to a supposedly purely cognitive affair in exegesis. Augustine's precept in the De doctr. chr. (2.40.60-61) to take from pagan culture what is useful reads like an encouragement to practice allegorical interpretation of pagan literature and mythology in the manner of Lactantius.

Keywords: Augustine; Christian literature; De doctrina christiana; mythology; pagan allegorical interpretation; poetic exegesis



Can't access your account?
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation