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The Integrated Self: Augustine, the Bible, and Ancient Thought.


The Integrated Self: Augustine, the Bible, and Ancient Thought

Brian Stock

University of Pennsylvania Press


269 pages



Haney Foundation Series


The author examines AugustineAEs concept of the self and how it is integrated as a product of rhetorical and philosophical influences, as well as his personal way of approaching questions of identity through autobiography, showing how this thinking replaces a dualistic view of the self, which he drew from Platonic and Neoplatonic sources, with a view inspired by the Bible, in which mind and body are equal in the self. The author shows that Western thinking about the self cannot be said to have come from conceptual advances, but from a combination of theory and practice. He describes the principles of late ancient sacred reading (lectio divina) in the writings of two founders of the discipline, John Cassian and Benedict of Nursia; how AugustineAEs idea of the self is a combination of elements from this discipline as well as his thinking about the creative imagination; the use of inner dialogue for seeking self-knowledge and ethical guidelines for life; the relationship between soul and self in two early works of Augustine (De Immortalitate Animae and De Quantitate Animae) and his reinterpretation of the Platonic notion of reminiscence as a type of literary memory; and the use of meditative and contemplative techniques in contemporary alternative medicine, which are based on Christian and non-Christian traditions. ([umlaut] Ringgold, Inc., Portland, OR)

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Article Type:Book review
Date:Jul 1, 2017
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