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9. Augustine'S Thoughts On How God May Be Represented

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Chapter Summary

Augustine was attracted to the intellectual approach of the Manichees to the teaching of Christ. The rationality of their approach was evident in their view on creation and in their conception of evil, that was seen as parallel and contrary to God. This chapter focuses on Augustine's conception of 'verbal images'. It tries to answer the question of how Augustine's negative propositions about God relate to his metaphorical and anthropomorphic language about God. What sort of language about God is most important to him and what is the reason for this? In discussing some key-passages in Augustine's writings both context and chronology are being considered. The chapter presents a first and exploring outline of the developments and main points of Augustine's thoughts regarding the representation of God. In chronological order, only those passages are reviewed in which Augustine himself discusses the problem of divine representation.

Keywords: anthropomorphic language; Augustine's thoughts; creation; divine representation; God; Manichees; verbal images

10.1163/ej.9789004161955.i-538.78
/content/books/10.1163/ej.9789004161955.i-538.78
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