High and Low on Jacob’s Ladder

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

High and Low on Jacob’s Ladder

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During the 390s Augustine developed a way of reading Scripture that embraced the needs of both beginning and advanced believers. On Christian Teaching tended the needs of those higher on the ladder of spiritual ascent while On Instructing Beginners concerned the needs of those just beginning to climb. But both works seek to train Christian teachers to read Scripture according to love (caritas) shaped by the crucified Christ. That love is Scripture's center and summit as well as the zenith of Christian maturity. If the Bible is obscure or clear, caritas is either secretly hiding or openly proclaiming itself there. Because only like knows like, only those formed in Christian love are able to read Scripture astutely enough to discover caritas everywhere in its pages. Since Christ is the key to love, he is Scripture's center and goal for initiates and adepts alike.

Keywords: love; caritas; top down perspective; bottom up perspective; anagogic reading; mystagogic reading; indicative signs; mediative signs; way; sympathy

Chapter.  15523 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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