Augustine's notions of human nature and of person have not received adequate systematic treatment, despite their centrality to all the important areas of his thought. Although he notoriously changed his mind on many major points, his explorations of human nature and person remained central and to a great extent consistent across his mature and most important works. In this insightful and accessible book, Peter Burnell examines the crucial issues in Augustine's understanding of these two related subjects, and concentrates on Augustine's fullest development of that understanding. Through careful analysis of Augustine's writings, Burnell concludes that Augustine conceives of human nature as a unity at every level - socially, morally, and in basic constitution - despite very common objections that he fails to achieve such a conception. Furthermore, Augustine's doctrine of the Incarnation is the basis of his notion of person - not only human but divine. Thus the eternal relationships of God's interior life, though unchanging, have always had an outward bearing, in the sense of being eternally oriented on the Incarnation. Continued interest in Augustine as a historical figure and a resource for contemporary reflection, as well as contemporary theorizing, by both philosophers and theologians, about the human person makes this study significant not only for the understanding of Augustine but for more general questions raised today regarding the human person.
The Augustinian Person
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