Chapter

The Integrity of <i>de libero arbitrio</i>

Simon Harrison

in Augustine's Way into the Will

Published in print October 2006 | ISBN: 9780198269847
Published online January 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780191713385 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198269847.003.0003

Series: Oxford Early Christian Studies

The Integrity of de libero arbitrio

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This chapter sets out a positive case for regarding On Free Choice as a text to be read as a coherent and consistent whole. On Free Choice is a single unified piece of work. The case for reading it as such is one of elucidating something that is self-evident; it is a dialogue. The manuscript evidence and what is known of ancient literary practice suggests that the interlocutors should not be identified as ‘Augustine’ and ‘Evodius’, an identification that has obscured the significance of the role of the reader as part of the argumentative strategy of the work as a whole. It consists of three books, the argument, subject matter, and style of which are developed in a programmatic and interrelated progression. This progression is illustrated in the deployment of some technical theological terms and the overall architecture of the argument.

Keywords: dialogue; manuscript tradition; On Free Choice

Chapter.  14679 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Early Christianity

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