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The Theological Epistemology of Augustine's De Trinitate$
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Luigi Gioia

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199553464

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199553464.001.0001

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Christ, Salvation, and Knowledge of God

Christ, Salvation, and Knowledge of God

Chapter:
(p.68) 4 Christ, Salvation, and Knowledge of God
Source:
The Theological Epistemology of Augustine's De Trinitate
Author(s):

Luigi Gioia

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199553464.003.0005

The Christology of the treatise provides us with three crucial parameters for a proper theological epistemology: the dependence of knowledge of God on the Incarnation; the link between knowledge of God and soteriology; the eschatological character of the act through which God makes himself known to us in Christ through the Holy Spirit. The first of these parameters starts from a firm denial of any form of Adoptionism and the unambiguous identification of the agent of the Incarnation with the Son of God and goes hand in hand with the rejection of any concession to philosophy when it comes to the access to wisdom or contemplation or happiness, i.e. to what counts as real knowledge of God. The second of these parameters, already implied by the first, regards the link between knowledge of God and soteriology. God reveals himself as he reconciles us to himself in the sacrifice of Christ. This is what Augustine means when he states that illumination depends on the Incarnation and on the purification resulting from the blood of Christ and the humility of God. Only through the overcoming of our covetousness through the Son's love for the Father and of our pride through the humility of God, is our blindness healed. Finally, the third of these parameters, implied in the previous two, is the eschatological character of the act through which God makes himself known to us in Christ through the Holy Spirit. If, thanks to the incarnation, the object of faith‐science is identical with that of vision–wisdom–contemplation, the modality of the manifestation of this object is different: hidden in the former and fully displayed in the latter.

Keywords:   Christology, epistemology, Incarnation, soteriology, eschatological, Adoptionism, philosophy, knowledge, sacrifice, illumination, purification

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