University of Lausanne BiBIL
  Institut romand des sciences bibliques
  Biblical Bibliography of Lausanne - BiBIL
Administration Contact Impressum  
Search
Notice details
Bibil Identifier bibil:227301
Publication Type Journal article
Title (English, Long) Night and days in Cassiciacum: The anti-Manichaean theodicy of Augustine's De ordine
Author Fuhrer, Therese
Journal HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies (Volume: 69, Issue: 1)
Year (Publication) 2013
Year (Original (1st Edition)) 2013
Year (Copyright) 2013
Year (Reference) 2013
Language English
Pages - Pages
Genre Original
Notes 7 pages.
Abstract In his early dialogue ‘On order’ (De ordine) Augustine dramatises a discussion of theodicy in which the Manichaean solution is clearly rejected, even though the debate ends in aporia. It is argued in this paper that the dialogue’s dramatic setting at the villa in Cassiciacum is strongly reminiscent of Manichaean imagery and the stock motifs of the Manichaean mythological system. It is proposed in the dialogue itself, that the scenic elements (Augustine’s ill health, night and darkness, the dawning day, dirt and ugliness, fighting cocks) have the character of signs which illustrate the significance of the not-beautiful and the negative in the divine order. The dialogue setting thus presents an ontological scale that leads from the levels of reduced being up to the highest being, linking night or darkness to light or day, dirt to purity, sickness to health, defeat to victory, the ugly to the beautiful. The dialogue setting becomes a semiotic system in which even the ontologically deficient forms of phenomenon always also refer to something at the highest level, namely the omnipotent divine creator. The scenic design of De ordine can thus be read as an extension of the Manichaean system of codes, and hence as a message also addressed to a Manichaean readership.
DOI 10.4102/hts.v69i1.1354
Keywords Thesaurus BiBIL : Ancient Christianity : Ancient Christian Literature : Texts and Authors (Church Fathers) : Texts and Authors : Augustine
Thesaurus BiBIL : Milieu : Gnosticism : Sects and Schools : Manicheism
Thesaurus BiBIL : Ancient Christianity : Themes : Evil
Links Online document (PDF, English)
Last modification 2017-10-27