St. Augustine: His Relevance and Legacy
Wayne Cristaudo, Heung Wah Wong
ATF Press, 2010 - Philosophy - 343 pages
If the defining feature of the Middle Ages is its churches, the defining architect of its mind, heart and soul---at least until Aquinas---is St Augustine. The Church was a spiritual army whose leaders were its fathers. And in that sense his thought is closer in modern terms to a revolutionary like Lenin than to a philosopher's. For a philosopher may well be part of a broad movement, but his appeal is usually to first principles rather than to a body of faith, even if once philosophies are entrenched very questionable first principles (consider the naturalistic assumptions of so much analytical philosophy today) easily becomes matters of faith and the collection of philosophers members of a kind of Church.
In this volume we have brought together essays, which discuss Augustine's core ideas in a context that could hardly be more different than when he wrote, and essays which show his enduring philosophical and theological impact and relevance. The planetary scope of that extent can be gauged by inclusion of essays which discuss his ideas in relationship to the Australian poet Francis Webb, to the Mexican muralist Jose Orozco, to the reworking of his ideas by the Austrian emigre political scientist, Eric Voegelin, to the French philosopher Jean-Luc Marion, and to the extremely interesting and highly personalized account of how (deformed) versions of his ideas formed the presumptions for Dixon Wong, a Hong Kong scholar working on Japanese business. These papers not only reflect the geographical reach of Augustine's relevance, but a social and existential scope that spans the arts, politics, philosophy, and business---all from a deep religious faith.
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