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Augustine's Confessions As A Consolation Of Philosophy

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Chapter Summary

This chapter begins by acknowledging the degree to which Augustines Confessions, not least through the work of Johannes van Oort, have become accepted in scholarship as a protreptic, with Manichaeans as at least one of the primary target audiences. It then suggests that consolatio could be one of the main techniques and foci of topoi used in the Confessions to bring to bear the works protreptic purpose, in particular in view of a potential Manichaean audience. The chapter discusses briefly the role of consolatio in classical, Manichaean and early Christian traditions and possible ways in which these influenced the Confessions. The chapter traces the theme of consolatio throughout the Confessions. However, it shows that a case could be made for arguing that the Confessions do not just contain consolatory elements here and there, as has been argued, but could actually be considered, as a whole, as a Consolation of Philosophy.

Keywords: Augustines Confessions; Consolation of Philosophy; early Christian traditions; Johannes van Oort



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