Augustine on the Will: A Theological Account
Augustine on the Will: A Theological Account  -     By: Han-Luen Kantzer Komline
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Oxford University Press / 2019 / Hardcover
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Augustine on the Will: A Theological Account

Oxford University Press / 2019 / Hardcover

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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

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Author Bio


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

Editorial Reviews


"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


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