Chapter

A Really Liberal Education

Catherine Conybeare

in The Irrational Augustine

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780199262083
Published online May 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603761 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/019926208x.003.0005

Series: Oxford Early Christian Studies

A Really Liberal Education

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De Ordine is the most episodic of the dialogues, beginning as a discussion about the ordering of the universe, and narrates a dramatic dawn conversion. The second book of De Ordine moves into a discussion of memory, and then sketches for a programme of Christianized liberal disciplines. However, this programme is abruptly deflected at the end of the dialogue, with the suggestion that one need only live well and accept religious authority to gain knowledge of God. The philosophical material is elementary, and the structure of the discussion repeatedly disrupted; it is from within the disruptions that the innovative moves take place. This chapter discusses these innovations: the role played by Augustine’s mother, and the insights which she seems to prompt, especially those following from a serious commitment to an inclusive Christianity, and those which assign value to temporary or shifting things.

Keywords: Augustine; Monnica; mother; Licentius; philosophical dialogue; De Ordine; liberal

Chapter.  20856 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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