Heythrop Journal 61 (3):471-482 (2020)

Authors
Gene Fendt
University of Nebraska at Kearney
Abstract
Camus himself called The Plague his most anti-Christian text, and most theologically oriented readings of the text agree. This paper shows how the sermons of Fr. Paneloux—an Augustine scholar--as well as Dr. Rieux’s mother present an Augustinian picture of love. This love opposes the passionate concupiscence for possession of things with the divine love which wishes for the constant conscious presence of the beloved in the light of the good. Such is possible for us, as Augustine exhibits and helps us practice, if one reads the world as it really is—temporal signs of the eternal goodness, wisdom and presence of God—which Augustine discovers “too late.” While the doctor describes Oran as a city “without intimations” many elements of the text intimate otherwise. In such an Augustinian sacramental reading the “problem of evil” disappears.
Keywords Augustinian illuminationism  problem of evil  love  Camus
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DOI 10.1111/heyj.13412
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