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Language in the Confessions of Augustine$
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Philip Burton

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199266227

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199266227.001.0001

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Talking Books

Talking Books

Chapter:
(p.88) 4 Talking Books
Source:
Language in the Confessions of Augustine
Author(s):

Philip Burton (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199266227.003.0004

This chapter considers the relationship between the spoken and the written word in the Confessions, a work in which the importance of books and reading is widely acknowledged. Alongside the familiar Platonic unease about the use of books, Augustine inherits also a long prehistory of ambivalence in Jewish and Christian sources. Books are rehabilitated through an elision of the difference between the hermeneutic processes of reading and hearing; by the end of the work, God himself can be visualized as a Christian codex.

Keywords:   hermeneutics, reading, Platonism, codex

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