Paul and Augustine's retrospective self : The relevance of Epistula XXII

Revue d' Etudes Augustiniennes Et Patristiques 47 (1):145-164 (2001)
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In the celebrated conversion scene in Confessions 8.12.29 Augustine mentions Paul's admonitions in Romans 13.13-14 as the text which provided the final scriptural warrant for his renunciation of the world. In the scene that follows, Augustine's friend Alypius takes the subsequent verse, Romans 14.1 as his summons to follow in Augustine's steps. It has been something of a puzzle that for all its importance to Augustine, Romans 13.13-14 scarcely appears in Augustine's works prior to the Confessions. That paucity makes Augustine's use of Romans 13.13-14 in one of his early letters not only curious but critical for an assessment of what he made of this passage outside of the narrative context of the famous conversion scene in Confessions 8.12.28-30. Given all the controversy that has often surrounded Augustine's conversion to Catholic Christianity in 386, the significance of Letter 22 can hardly be overestimated



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