Hearing Voices

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

Hearing Voices

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During his time as priest Augustine continued to search out the mystery of Christ's humanity: he was convinced that it held the key to understanding how faith begins in the heart. To explore this he closely reread the Psalms. Israel's ancient prayers poetically expressed humanity's life before God, from its turmoil to its ecstasy and everything in between. But since its early days Christianity had also detected in the Psalter many hidden prophetic descriptions and even first-person transcriptions of Christ's inner life. Augustine discerned in them the rhetorical device of “impersonation” (prosopopoeia), whereby the head and members of “the whole Christ” (totus Christus) speak in each other's voice. Especially the mediator's dramatic cry of abandonment from the cross, wherein he quotes Psalm 21 as Adam the sinner, disclosed Christ's hidden presence in the prayers, commands, characters, and rituals of the entire Old Testament.

Keywords: Expositions of the Psalms; dominicus homo; persona; prosopological exegesis; impersonation; prosopopoeia; totus Christus, whole Christ; mediator; Psalms of the Crucified

Chapter.  19544 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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