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By Ronnie J. Rombs

Augustine's figuring out of the foundation of the soul and the character of its fall looms as probably the most vital and debatable questions between Augustinian students considering the fact that Robert J. O'Connell first begun publishing at the subject. O'Connell argued that Augustine embraced Plotinus's doctrine that the soul existed earlier than the physique and in simple terms fell into physically lifestyles because the results of sin. this type of place, notwithstanding, is essentially incompatible with Christian anthropology: physically lifestyles is intrinsically corrupted; actual life is regrettable. The supposition that the main influential Christian theologian after St. Paul maintained this kind of place generated sharp department among students who have been confident through O'Connell and people who weren't. A scholarly consensus at the topic has no longer but developed.

Saint Augustine and the autumn of the Soul: past O'Connell and His Critics presents first a serious exam of O'Connell's theses in a readable precis of his paintings that spanned over thirty years. Secondly, a diachronic examine of Augustine's writings strains the advance of his realizing of the soul's fall, mapping the boundaries of Plotinus's effect.

The research acknowledges the level to which Augustine embraced Plotinus's ontology and anthropology and the purpose at which he deserted Plotinus. The younger Augustine was once considerably inspired by way of Plotinus, and there's gigantic facts that he held a Plotinian doctrine of the soul's fall. yet because the anthropological implications that keep on with from the Christian doctrine of production ex nihilo turned obvious to him, Augustine departed from Plotinus. Augustine finally took the soul's fall to be an ethical lapse, keeping Plotinus's imagery vocabulary as a fashion of expressing a psychology of sin, now not an ontological fall.

Augustinian students and scholars in theology and patristics will locate the textual content a useful source at the topic.

Ronnie J. Rombs is assistant professor of theology at St. Joseph Seminary university in Louisiana. he's the coeditor of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy.


"This ebook offers with a tremendous factor, person who Robert J. O'Connell made his life's paintings in his learn of Augustine. He believed that the topic of the fallen soul is on the heart of Augustine's notion, and Ronnie J. Rombs competently provides that the reason is, of the significance of salvation to Augustine. The research is easily written--complex, versatile, and refined. there isn't any comparable booklet within the field."--Eugene TeSelle, Professor Emeritus, Vanderbilt University

"Rombs makes a tremendous contribution to Augustinian reports through his recreation to elucidate O'Connell's place and to qualify it, specifically through distinguishing the cosmogenic, ontological, and psychological/moral senses of the autumn of the soul."--Roland J. Teske, S.J., Marquette University

"[A]ny scholar of Augustine will locate this paintings illuminating for its research of O'Connell's legacy and for Rombs' personal sifting via a lot of the fourth- and fifth-century questions about the human soul after which exhibiting how Augustine got here to appreciate the character of the soul, its beginning, and its sanctification in Christ." -- David Meconi, S.J., Theological Studies

"Rombs' little e-book is split into elements. the 1st offers a useful carrier to scholars in its lucid and sympathetic account of the improvement of O'Connell's vital and rolling arguments that, whereas usually tortured, appeared to sweep every little thing in entrance of them. For this by myself the ebook is worthy having. yet then, within the moment part, Rombs is going a lot additional and joins the numerous critics of O'Connell who've argued for a much less uncompromisingly Plotinian realizing of Augustine's paintings. right here he strikes the scholarly argument ahead at the least one notch." -- Colin Starnes, Philosophy in Review

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