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Allegorical Reading And Writing In Augustine's Confessions

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Chapter Summary

In ancient literature, the act of allegorical writing is preserved in texts with allegorical figures, and the act of allegorical readingallegoresis in texts that interpret a pre-text allegorically, as in Augustines Confessions. This chapter shows that Augustines Confessions do not just document allegorical readingthat is, of the biblical creation story in Genesis 1 and 2 in book 13,1346but rather that the first ten books may be read allegorically, which implies that they are written as a pretext to an allegorical interpretation. It is important to consider first the differences between the allegoresis of myths and of the Bible. In the course of his work on the biblical text Augustine constantly grappled with the questions of method that an allegorizing exegete asks himself. Also of importance for Augustines legitimization of allegoresis are his reflections on why the biblical text allows more than one reading.

Keywords: allegorical reading; allegorical writing; Augustines Confessions

10.1163/ej.9789004189973.i-730.17
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