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Augustine’s Doctrine of Predestination: An Indexical Analysis

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Chapter Summary

This chapter supplements the previous one at just the point where a performative analysis broke down. Indexical expressions are those whose reference is a function of their context of utterance, and whose meaning helps pick out the relevant aspect of the context for the purpose of determining the referent. Nunberg generalises his analysis with respect to other indexicals, including singular first and second person pronouns, the demonstratives and third person pronouns, and adverbs of time and place. While, on a performative analysis, Augustine's act of naming identifies the congregation with the chosen, on an indexical analysis Augustine's address turns the congregation into an index of the chosen. It is no longer possible to isolate transformation from representation, claiming only the former as significant in relationship with God. An indexical analysis thus brings in question the first part-hypothesis by undermining its binary oppositional form.

Keywords: Augustine; congregation; indexical analysis; predestination; transformation



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