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Outward SignsThe Powerlessness of External Things in Augustine's Thought$
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Phillip Cary

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195336498

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195336498.001.0001

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 Believing Persons

 Believing Persons

Theological Implications of Augustine's Semiotics

(p.121) 5 Believing Persons
Outward Signs

Phillip Cary (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

For Augustine the knowledge we ultimately seek is not like having faith in our friends but like seeing for ourselves. Yet Augustine acknowledges that nearly everything we know about human society and history, and even about the souls of our friends, is based not on seeing but on believing what we are told. Likewise, to believe the Scripture is to accept the testimony of witnesses who have seen what we have not. Seeing the truth to which they testify is in fact easier than seeing what is in their souls, and in that sense God can be known more clearly than other persons. So also our knowledge of Christ, as it grows, depends less and less on what we know of his historical particularity, his humanity and his flesh, and more and more on our vision of his divine being.

Keywords:   Augustine, Christ, Scripture, friends, testimony, faith, vision, persons, truth, soul

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