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Singing Together In Church: Augustine’s Psalm Against The Donatists

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on one of the most prolific writers of antiquity, St. Augustine. The sheer quantity of his works, the mass of books he wrote, inspires awe or even disbelief. The bulk of his writings comprise no less than sixteen massive volumes of the Patrologia Latina. Apart from the sermons there are other works by St. Augustine which show clearly oral features. One work that stands out on account of its distinctively oral origins is the so-called Psalmus contra partem Donati, the 'Psalm against the Donatists'. The chapter gives a short description of the structure and background of this text. It then discusses its principal aspects as a product of oral performance. The Psalmus is a poem-like text dating from the year 393, intended for the common believers in church.

Keywords: Augustine's sermons; church believers; Patrologia Latina; Psalm against the Donatists; Psalmus contra partem Donati



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