By Annemare Kotze
This ebook is set the communicative function and the viewers of the Confessions. It illuminates the measure to which the communicative objective of the paintings is to transform its readers, i.e. a protreptic goal, and the measure to which the objective viewers might be pointed out as Augustine's capability Manichaean readers. a quick survey of attainable literary antecedents issues to the lifestyles of alternative works that encompass a similar mix of an autobiographical part (a conversion tale) with a polemical and exegetical part (an argument that goals to persuade the reader of the advantages of a particular viewpoint) that characterizes the Confessions. The e-book presents a brand new viewpoint at the which means and constitution of Augustine's usually misunderstood masterpiece.
Read Online or Download Augustine's Confessions: Communicative Purpose and Audience (Supplements to Vigiliae Christianae, V. 71) PDF
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Extra info for Augustine's Confessions: Communicative Purpose and Audience (Supplements to Vigiliae Christianae, V. 71)
Miles, in her Desire and Delight (1992), although she also seems to assume the readers of the Confessions to be Augustine’s ‘fellow-Christians,’ (1992, 42), or, as she puts it, ‘the sympathetic male colleague for whom Augustine wrote,’ (1992, 71) spells out, among other things, the propensity of the text to convert, making the not-yet-converted a more probable audience. The text (especially books 1 to 9) is in fact repeatedly 57 Quillen’s insights about the importance of indications concerning the audience of the Confessions are valuable, but to deﬁne this audience she quotes almost exclusively passages from the later books of the Confessions where the audience is deﬁned as fellow Christians, while it is my contention that this is not the sole, nor the most important, group the text targets (see chapter 5).
He feels that in book 10 the audience is the friends whom he sees as the instigators of this book (with their request that Augustine should give an account of his present state) in contrast to the less friendly, less well-known reader envisaged in the ﬁrst nine books (395). But these remain isolated voices at an early stage of research on the Confessions and their ideas have not become part of mainstream thinking. In 1967 Hadot’s short article, ‘Quelques thèmes fondamentaux des Confessions de saint Augustin,’ argues for the importance of a Manichaean perspective on Augustine’s insistence on sin in the Confessions.
While Cayré’s closing phrase in the quotation above is a perceptive description of one of the functions of a conversion story at the outset of a bigger work, he then goes on to ignore the implications of his own statement. He speaks of ‘ce genre d’histoire’ (1953, 15) with no further attempt at describing or even considering the genre of the named works, and, like Courcelle (see discussion in chapter 2), seems to see the only point of comparison between them and the Confessions in the autobiographical sections that are used as a preface, or as a kind of captatio benevolentiae.