Reading Augustine presents concise, personal readings of St. Augustine of Hippo from leading philosophers and religion scholars.
Augustine of Hippo knew that this fallen world is a place of sadness and suffering. In such a world, he determined that compassion is the most suitable and virtuous response. Its transformative powers could be accessed through the mind and its memories, through the healing of the Incarnation, and through the discernment of Christians who are forced to navigate through a corrupt and deceptive world.
Susan Wessel considers Augustine’s theology of compassion by examining his personal experience of loss and his reflections concerning individual and corporate suffering in the context of the human condition and salvation.
This is an attractive book that is potentially appealing to a wide audience ... Wessel eloquently communicates the innovativeness of Augustine's emotional teaching, and how it arose out of both personal experience and philosophical reflection. * Journal of Ethics in Antiquity and Christianity * Contributes well to this distinguished series. * Theology * Susan Wessel masterfully shows how Augustine of Hippo built a moral psychology on the notion that passions and emotions play an active and unifying role in the human soul once they have received the light of scriptural truth, the purifying powers of love, and the healing guidance of compassion. It is an important and remarkable work, in which readers of Augustine, scholars of theology, anthropologists, and psychologists will witness Augustine's 'Churchification' of ancient spirituality. -- John Iliopoulos, University of Athens, Greece Susan Wessel has developed a new approach to the Mentalitaetsgeschichte of late antiquity, observing an emerging concept of the self - with passions and emotions - and its impact on Christian ethics and morality. Her studies on Gregory of Nyssa, Nemesius of Emesa, John Chrysostom and Jerome, Leo and Gregory the Great, and Maximos the Confessor are now finally complemented with this long-awaited - and strongly recommended - volume on the most influential thinker of them all: Augustine of Hippo. -- Ulrich Volp, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany This volume gives valuable insight into how Augustine of Hippo, following the tradition of preachers of the early church, used rhetoric to reframe the way his people perceived the ubiquitous suffering of their neighbours in a way that elicited acts, as well as emotions, of compassion. Such a book will be as valuable for practitioners of the arts of caring as for historians. -- J. Warren Smith, Duke Divinity School, USA It gives a deeper insight into some of the basic themes of his thinking, such as compassion, healing, suffering, and emotional life. The text is well-structured and covers a wide range of primary and secondary references. * Augustiniana *