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Christ Meets Me Everywhere: Augustine's Early Figurative Exegesis
Oxford University Press / 2012 / Hardcover
$59.49 (CBD Price)
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Most readers first encounter Augustine's love for Scripture's words in the many biblical allusions of his masterwork, the Confessions. Augustine does not merely quote texts, but in many ways makes Scripture itself tell the story. In his journey from darkness to light, Augustine becomes Adam in the Garden of Eden, the Prodigal Son of Jesus' parable, and the Pauline double personality at once devoted to and rebellious against God's law. Throughout he speaks the words of the Psalms as if he had written them. Crucial to Augustine's self-portrayal is his skill at transposing himself into the texts. He sees their properties and dynamics as his own, and by extension, every believing reader's own. In Christ Meets Me Everywhere, Michael Cameron argues that Augustine wanted to train readers of Scripture to transpose themselves into the texts in the same way he did, by the same process of figuration that he found at Scripture's core. Augustine discovered this skill by learning to read Scripture as a work of divine rhetoric that mirrors the humility of the human Christ who forms humble readers to ascend its spiritual heights. Tracking Augustine's developing skill in reading Scripture's figures as microcosms of the history of salvation during the first fifteen years of his Christian life, Cameron shows how Christ's self-transposition into Scripture's readers became the key to Augustine's hermeneutics.
Michael Cameron is Associate Professor of Historical Theology at the University of Portland in Oregon.
"Michael Cameron's new book is a brilliant accomplishment in Augustinian studies. It is irreducibly a work of theology even as it is at the same time irreducibly a work of literary, historical, and cultural studies. Isn't that the true scope and range of the significance of Augustine himself? It is a special delight to be able to share this book with students in my classes because it has something for every reader. If Christ meets Augustine everywhere, Michael Cameron has seen to it that Augustine can meet us everywhere too, because he has made Augustine available to such a wide readership and with such intelligence, creativity, and elegance."--John Cavadini, Associate Professor of Theology and Director of the Institute for Church Life, University of Notre Dame
"In his comprehensive and highly readable study of Augustine's figurative exegesis, Michael Cameron succeeds admirably in his aim of catching Augustine's hermeneutic 'in the act of rising out of his practice.' While Cameron is fully in control of the history of scholarship on hermeneutical theory and technical terminology (allegory, typology, figuration, and so forth), he never lets theory over-determine his own analysis of Augustine's actual interpretive performance. Cameron provides a compelling, theologically informed reading of Augustine's scriptural exegesis in the years up to 400 CE that is finely attentive to the North African's 'turnings' of mysterious scriptural tropes until the transforming divine love for humanity in Christ is figured forth."--David Dawson, President and Professor of Religion, Earlham College
"Augustine specialists have long known Michael Cameron's articles and his original dissertation as a vein of gold running through a huge scholarly mountain. That gold has now been mined, purified and shaped into the most important work on scripture in Augustine's thought to be published in a generation. At the heart of this book Cameron shows us Augustine shaping an account of Scripture as he develops a theology of Christ's salvific work. At the same time, Cameron offers us a magisterial vision of the ways in which Augustine adapts ancient rhetorical and analytical tools for his Christian ends. In an era when early Christian exegesis has caught the attention of historians and theologians of all types, Cameron's exposition of Augustine should be on the reading lists of all devoted to the theological enterprise."--Lewis Ayres, Bede Professor of Catholic Theology, University of Durham
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