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By the Renewing of Your MindsThe Pastoral Function of Christian Doctrine$
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Ellen T. Charry

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780195134865

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195134865.001.0001

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Dwelling in the Dignity of God: Augustine of Hippo

Dwelling in the Dignity of God: Augustine of Hippo

(p.120) 6 Dwelling in the Dignity of God: Augustine of Hippo
By the Renewing of Your Minds

Ellen T. Charry

Oxford University Press

This chapter argues that Augustine's aretegenic goal was to present the doctrine of the Trinity so that it establishes the seeker's identity as arising from the being of God. He gets his reader's attention by shaming, embarrassing, and exposing her weaknesses, as well as by encouraging, urging, and reassuring her that a new and better self is both called for and possible, in order to focus her energy on the search for self in God. The chastisement is persistent though never punitive. God means to form us by leading us gently to himself. Augustine's theology becomes more accessible to those who agree that spiritual formation is necessary for a happy life. The sapience of God is the core of human happiness, as far as Augustine was concerned.

Keywords:   Augustine of Hippo, Trinity, God, theology, sapience, happiness, spiritual formation

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