Augustine on the Will: A Theological Account
Stock No: WW948802
Augustine on the Will: A Theological Account  -     By: Han-Luen Kantzer Komline

Augustine on the Will: A Theological Account

Oxford University Press / 2019 / Hardcover

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Stock No: WW948802

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This book provides a framework for Augustine's understanding of will, an aspect of his thought that has proven to be both essential and inscrutable. On the one hand, the Augustinian will is everywhere. It comes up constantly both in Augustine's thought and in the massive literature engaging it. The will is impossible to avoid in almost any treatment of any aspect of his thinking, whether theological, philosophical, psychological, or political, because it is at the heart of his understanding of the human person and therefore vital to his understanding of such diverse topics as grace, freedom, the image of God, and moral responsibility. On the other hand, Augustine's understanding of the will resists direct examination. With the exception of an early treatise on free choice, Augustine never devoted a work to exploring the will in a programmatic way. Likewise, while the Augustinian will is constantly invoked in secondary literature, it rarely receives analysis in its own right.

Han-luen Kantzer Komline demonstrates that Augustine's view is "theologically differentiated," comprising four distinct types of human will, which correspond to four different theological scenarios. Augustine's innovation consists in distinguishing these types with a detail and clarity unprecedented by any thinker before him. This account of the Augustinian will gives a comprehensive picture of the development and mature shape of Augustine's thinking on this vital yet perennially puzzling topic.

Product Information

Title: Augustine on the Will: A Theological Account
By: Han-Luen Kantzer Komline
Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 464
Vendor: Oxford University Press
Publication Date: 2019
Weight: 1 pound 15 ounces
ISBN: 0190948809
ISBN-13: 9780190948801
Series: Oxford Studies in Historical Theology
Stock No: WW948802

Publisher's Description

While Augustine's understanding of will is constantly invoked in secondary literature, it rarely receives analysis in its own right. In this book, Han-luen Kantzer Komline provides such an analysis, demonstrating that Augustine's view is "theologically differentiated," comprising four distinct types of human will, which correspond to four different theological scenarios.

Author Bio

Han-luen Kantzer Komline is Marvin and Jerene DeWitt Professor of Theology and Church History at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, Michigan.

Editorial Reviews

"This is a thorough and welcome presentation of a major topic in Augustinian studies with which future scholars should engage and with which they will find it hard to disagree." -- Richard Finn Op, New Blackfriars

"What Kantzer Komline has done, she has done well, extremely well. This work will prove to be a standard referent for future works on Augustine's theory of the will and the development of his thinking for a long time to come." -- David Vincent Meconi, S.J., The Thomist

"Any reader will find a wealth of insightful readings in each chapter, which makes this critical work a standard resource for all who want to know more about Augustine's account of the will." -- Wilco de Vries, Duke University, Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics

"This book is impressively well designed...Augustine on the Will sets a new standard as the 'go to' book for a full orbed, accurate, and exacting account of Augustine's developing theology of grace and free will." -- Gerald Boersma, Journal of Theological Studies

"The book is comprehensive and, as a result, quite long, yet it remains clear and coherent, and each chapter includes a concise and elegantly written conclusion which I think will keep many readers oriented to the structural complexity of the book. This book is a tremendous accomplishment..I expect this book will be a highly valuable resource for any interested reader or veteran scholar of Augustine-to both students of theology and philosophy alike." -- Jeb Ralston, Trinity Journal

"A Theological Account a joy to read. Indeed, Kantzer Komline writes as though she traveled alongside St. Augustine from his conversion in Milan to his death in Hippo. Her prose is sophisticated with a familial lilt, a soulfulness that is rare in academic writing. Better still, she allows Augustine to speak for himself before she paraphrases or synthesizes; he was schooled as a rhetorician, after all" -- Corey J. Stephan , Thomistica

"Parts of Komline's story have been told before, but her work is a more ambitiously comprehensive, thoroughly theological, and even confessional retelling of Augustine account of the will... which is sure to stand the test of time...Whilst primarily aimed as an intervention for other researchers, there is no reason that this book should not be set on reading lists for higher-level undergraduate and postgraduate courses...Although the Augustine of Augustine on the Will is a theologian first and a philosopher second, there is much for philosophers to engage with and think deeply about in this text." -- Joanna Leidenhag, University of Leeds, Studies in Christian Ethics

"Kantzer Komline offers not a philosophical but theological account of the human, providing a coherent framework for Augustine's varied writings on the topic." -- Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Research Professor of Biblical and Systematic Theology at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, henrycenter.tiu.edu

"If you are looking for a clear, readable, and beautifully organized introduction to Augustine's thought about human willing, and you have a bit of time on your hands—look no further. If, by contrast, you think you know pretty much what there is to know about Augustine's conception of the will—prepare to be disabused of your hubris. For both experts and neophytes, Kantzer Komline has written an excellent and informative overview that spans Augustine's career, taking into consideration most of Augustine's major treatises and quite a few other texts besides." -- Jesse Couenhoven, Augustinian Studies

"Augustine on the Will: A Theological Account is commendable and noteworthy for its historical and disciplinary range, its clarity of organization and prose, and its theological adeptness...there is much here to be learned by students and experts alike." -- Alexander Pierce, Augustiniana

"Given the sophisticated level of analysis and exposition found in this author's first book, Komline is a historical theologian whose future work will also be impressive. Highly recommended." -- Thomas Haviland-Pabst, Calvin Theological Journal

"For both focus and comprehensiveness, this study is an excellent orientation to the landscape of its subject and will provide a useful point of reference to keep broader narratives attentive to the complex contours of the primary texts." -- J. M. Stewart, Journal of Moral Theology

"K.'s research is a welcome contribution to Augustinianstudies ... The thorough investigation of his images to describe the different theological statuses of human will deserves appreciation and careful consideration by every Augustinian scholar." -- Giulio Malavasi, Vigiliae Christianae

"In her ambitious book Han-luen Kantzer Komline combines a thematic approach to the issues with a flexible chronological structure, demonstrating how Augustine's concept of the will evolved in the course of his career, both in its range and character... this book helps us greatly to understand why his continuous engagement with a theocentric understanding of human willing is at the core of his religious vision." -- Gerard O'Daly, University College London, International Journal of Systematic Theology

"For students of Augustine, this is an excellent resource. Komline is not merely writing about philosophy,systematics, or biblical theology but something that helpfully speaks to all of them... for those who are willing, Komline offers nothing less than a masterclass in Augustine that deserves to be read and reread." -- Arthur Rankin, Reformed Theological Seminary

"This work should be mandatory reading for any serious student of Augustine, and even the non-specialist who has to teach a class session on the bishop of Hippo will be aided by the lucid interpretations that the author provides. Kantzer Komline's Augustine on the Will deserves to be read and referenced as authoritative for quite a long while." -- Adam Ployd, Eden Theological Seminary, Scottish Journal of Theology

"Han-Luen Kantzer Komline's Augustine on the Will is a valuable contribution to the broader discussion of the nature and freedom of the will...[Komline] shows a deep mastery of the Augustinian corpus and a broad familiarity with the secondary literature in English, French, and German." -- K. Lauriston Smith, Youngsville, North Carolina, Southeastern Theological Review

"Augustine has a reputation for renovating, if not outright inventing, the concept of will, but more often than not his analysts underplay the theology that informs his evolving point of view. Drawing on a deep well of knowledge, both of Augustine's texts and of the voluminous scholarship, Kantzer Komline beautifully attends to the inner life of voluntas. This is a stunning achievement." -- James Wetzel, Professor of Philosophy and Augustinian Chair, Villanova University

"Two things make Kantzer Komline's book so valuable: her attempt to read the story of Augustine's thoughts on the will as always a theology, and the sheer comprehensiveness of her coverage. There is nothing in English that offers such a clear treatment of Augustine's developing thought on this crucial issue. Students of Augustine from all traditions need to take note of this volume!" -- Lewis Ayres, Durham University & Australian Catholic University

"Augustine has always been regarded as a pivotal figure in the development of the philosophy and theology of the will. This fresh new approach will be a mustread for anyone interested in further work on this important topic. I predict that it will become a standard resource in the field, widely consulted by scholars and useful both in the theology and the philosophy curriculum, in early Christian studies and beyond. This book is highly recommended." -- John C. Cavadini, Director of the McGrath Institute for Church Life, University of Notre Dame

"Kantzer Komline's theologically differentiated approach enhances our understanding of Augustine on the will...Kantzer Komline shows that a theologically differentiated account of the will is necessary to account for Augustine's anti-Pelagianism, his engagement with scripture, his theological development, his distinctly Christian, trinitarian approach to willing, and his reluctance to offer philosophically universal definitions of the will." -- Christopher R. Mooney, Augustine Institute Graduate School of Theology, Journal of Early Christian Studies

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