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Responses to Miscellaneous Questions

ISBN: 9781565480551
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This volume contains three books: Miscellany of Eighty-Three Questions, Miscellany of Questions in Response to Simplician, and Eight Questions of Dulcitius. The Miscellany of Eighty-Three Questions was compiled over the course of several years and deals with philosophical, theological and exegetical matters that had been raised in the religious community that Augustine founded and headed. Some of these matters are handled very briefly, some at great length. Augustine’s exegesis is particularly interesting. The Miscellany of Questions in Response to Simplician was written at the request of the saintly bishop of Milan who followed Ambrose in that role. This work, in the form of two books, is crucially important for understanding Augustine’s theology of grace and how he arrived at his position on this issue, which is certainly his most important contribution to Western theology, but the questions are not limited to a discussion of grace. Finally, The Eight Questions of Dulcitius includes responses to questions in which, uniquely, Augustine quotes himself at length.

Top Highlights

“What in fact is left to free choice in this mortal life is not that a person may fulfill righteousness when he wants to but that by suppliant piety he may turn to him by whose gift he may be enabled to fulfill it.” (Page 181)

“The notion that the human will could at least on occasion anticipate the action of divine grace was later espoused by John Cassian in the famous thirteenth of his twenty-four Conferences and came to be referred to as semi-Pelagianism or, more recently and perhaps more correctly, as semi-Augustinianism. Having initially entertained this notion in responding to Simplician’s first question, Augustine goes on to reject it in his answer to the second.” (Page 163)

“And so, as the reading goes on and indicates, it became a proverb: Is Saul also among the prophets? (1 S 10:12) Let us not cease to be amazed, then, when something of God appears in human beings that transcends their merits and habits, since perhaps God wishes that such an appearance occur in order to signify something.” (Pages 210–211)

“If there is some question about the fact, however, that Saul, who had first received a spirit of prophecy, was later choked by an evil spirit that attacked him,18 there is nothing here to be astonished at either. For the former resulted from a plan to convey a meaning, while the latter represented a merited punishment.” (Page 211)

“It must not be thought, then, that these words, It is not a matter of willing or of running but of a merciful God, were said because without his aid we cannot attain to what we will but rather because without his call we do not will.” (Page 194)


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  1. Andy De La Cruz


Digital list price: $34.99
Save $7.00 (20%)