Art and the Christian Intelligence in St. Augustine [Book Review]

Review of Metaphysics 32 (3):561-563 (1979)
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R. J. O'Connell’s latest book has all the sterling literary qualities of its predecessors, St. Augustine’s Early Theory of Man and St. Augustine’s Confessions: The Odyssey of the Soul. The task in the present case was fraught with new and graver perils; for, although considerations on art abound in Augustine, the subject never receives the full-blown treatment to which modern aesthetic theory has accustomed us. The one possible exception to this rule is the De musica, but even it deals with music as a science rather than as an art and does little to alter the perspective established in the other dialogues. The bulk of the essay traces the evolution of Augustine’s theory of art through the early dialogues, the Confessions, and, in less detailed fashion, the works of his mature period.



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