Love Does Not Seek Its Own
Augustine, Economic Division, and the Formation of a Common Life
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Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Number of Pages: 272
Width: 15.6 cm
Height: 23.4 cm
This book arises out of contemporary questions regarding the nature and formation of the church amidst an economically divided society. Looking to Augustine of Hippo for guidance, Jonathan D. Ryan argues that the movement from private self-interest toward common love of God and neighbor is fundamental to the church’s formation and identity amidst contemporary contexts of economic inequality. Ryan demonstrates the centrality of this theme in Augustine’s Sermons and his monastic instruction (principally the Rule), illustrating how it shapes his pastoral guidance on matters pertinent to economic division, including use of material resources, and attitudes toward rich and poor. By reading Augustine’s Sermons alongside his monastic instruction, this volume allows for a closer understanding of how Augustine’s vision of a common life is reflected in his pastoral guidance to the wider congregation. The book’s concluding reflections consider what the church in our time might learn from these aspects of Augustine’s teaching regarding the formation of a common life, as members are drawn together in love of God and neighbour.
In this inspiring book, we meet Augustine the pastor and hear him address an issue crucial to his age and our own: economic inequality. Ryan deftly explores the root of inequality in self-love, a form of "egotheism," and explains Augustine's vision of common life rooted in God's abundance. Highly recommended. -- William T. Cavanaugh, DePaul University, USA Steeped in a rich knowledge of Augustine's corpus, Jonathan Ryan lucidly unfolds Augustine's teaching on economic matters in relation to our common life before God. Well written, impeccably researched, and astute in its theological judgements, students of not only Augustine but also Christian doctrine in general have much to learn from Ryan's superb study. -- Christopher Holmes, University of Otago, New Zealand