Chapter

The Revolution of 386

Carol Harrison

in Rethinking Augustine's Early Theology

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780199281664
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603402 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199281661.003.0002
 The Revolution of 386

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This chapter argues that Augustine’s conversion in 386 is not a radically different conversion from the one he recounts in Confessiones 8: that if one is to speak of a ‘revolution’ in his thought, it is not to be found in his reading of Paul in the 390s, but in his reading of the ‘books of the Platonists’ in 386, and his discovery in them of a doctrine of God’s transcendence which freed him from the materialistic philosophies that had hitherto made it impossible for him to embrace the Christian faith to which he had always sought to be reconciled.

Keywords: conversion; Confessiones 8; Platonists; Neoplatonism; Plotinus; transcendence

Chapter.  7270 words. 

Subjects: Early Christianity

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