Mateusz Stróżyński
Adam Mickiewicz University
Augustine converted to Christianity in 386 and described his conversion in his Confessiones a decade later. Much ink has been spilled concerning the question of the specific nature of Augustine’s conversion and the ‘historical accuracy’ of his description thereof 10 years later. The Confessiones seem to describe a volte face: he radically embraced Christianity. But to what kind of Christianity did he convert? We will readdress this question, not by investigating his conversion, but by a close exegesis of Confessiones 9, in which he describes the so-called Ostia-ecstasy. In the first part of our article, we discuss the description of the latter experience in Confessiones 9 and situate it within his conversion narrative, with attention to the symbolical language he used. The second part compares the Ostia-experience with the ascent of the soul as described in Plotinus’ Enneads, and with similar ‘Neoplatonic ascents’ present in the Confessiones and in writings penned by Augustine prior to or simultaneous with the Confessiones in order to elucidate the relationship between Augustine’s ‘Christian’ conversion and ‘Ostia-ecstasy’ with the Neoplatonic anabasis.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
Reprint years 2017, 2018
DOI 10.1080/21692327.2017.1387074
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 57,109
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Augustine: Ancient Thought Baptized.John M. Rist - 1994 - Cambridge University Press.
Plotinus: The Road to Reality.R. E. Witt - 1967 - Journal of Hellenic Studies 88:198-200.
Philosophy in Christian Antiquity.Christopher Stead - 1994 - Cambridge University Press.

View all 33 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

S. Aurelii Augustini Confessiones.Carl Hermann Augustine & Bruder - 1837 - Sumptibus Et Typis Caroli Tauchnitii.


Added to PP index

Total views
30 ( #345,373 of 2,411,476 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #538,999 of 2,411,476 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes