Review by Choice Review
This volume assembles 20 articles by mostly eminent British and American scholars of philosophy, theology, and ethics on an impressive range of topics concerning Augustine and the "tradition" of thought and values his writings spawned. After an opening piece on "Augustinian Christian Philosophy," some articles examine Augustine's views on specific categories or areas of philosophy and theology (time, primal sin, inner-life ethics, moral responsibility, consequentialism, volition, liberalism, just war theory, philosophy of history), while others consider his relations to later philosophers (Anselm, Descartes, Locke, Jonathan Edwards, Kant, Rousseau, Wittgenstein) and imaginative writers (Dante, John Updike). Although Augustine's two most widely read works, Confessions and City of God, receive the most attention, some 33 other works are discussed or cited. Certain essays contradict each other: e.g., whereas one calls Confessions a "venture into autobiography," another laments the "inadequacy" of such a label. If such contradictions are not troubling, some oversights are: e.g., an article relating Updike to Augustine fails to mention the former's short story "Augustine's Concubine." Matthews (Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst) provides more of a sampling than a summa on this inexhaustible subject; the book should nonetheless prove valuable to students of philosophy and theology from upper-level undergraduates on up. E. J. Ziolkowski Lafayette College
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.