<i>Eureka</i>! in Milan

Michael Cameron

in Christ Meets Me Everywhere

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199751297
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199950584 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Historical Theology

Eureka! in Milan

Show Summary Details


About the year 384 Augustine arrived in Milan in a state of disillusionment with Manicheeism. But Ambrose opened up new vistas by reading the Old Testament as a text strategically veiled with figurative rhetorical devices; by them God “accommodated” spiritual mysteries to human speech while hiding them from the proud and revealing them to the humble. Like a speechmaker, God used figurative language to insinuate truth rather than state it directly. This insight reversed Augustine's youthful rejection of the Old Testament on rhetorical grounds. From that point Augustine climbed step by step up the ladder of spiritual understanding: a sacramental understanding of Scripture came into view, and the Old Testament suddenly leapt back into play in his search for wisdom. Moreover that prepared him to understand “the books of the Platonists” and their philosophical descriptions of a transcendent world of immaterial spirit.

Keywords: Ambrose; philosophy; rhetoric; letter and spirit; equity; decorum; arrangement; dispositio, authority; accommodation

Chapter.  8657 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.