Chapter

Augustine: Perversion and Privation

Jonathan Dollimore

in Sexual Dissidence

Published in print August 1991 | ISBN: 9780198112259
Published online October 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191670732 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198112259.003.0009
Augustine: Perversion and Privation

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Saint Augustine has been seen to be one of the few great (male) geniuses who changed the direction of civilisation. This book does not share this view of Augustine or his place in history. From the point of view of the book, Augustine was the product of a Christian narrative which he powerfully influenced and within which he has been scripted ever since; the synthesis, development, suppression, and innovation which characterised his own work has been continued with its subsequent transmission. Augustine regarded sin as intrinsic to human nature and always bound up with perversion, transgression, and death: the perversion of free will leads man to transgress, and it is transgression which brings death into the world. However, evil is not a force or entity in its own right, nor was it a part of nature; evil should be understood as privation, a lack of good.

Keywords: Saint Augustine; sin; perversion; transgression; privation; evil

Chapter.  7853 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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