Augustine and Ethics examines the topic of ethics in the life and works of Augustine of Hippo. Adopting a global perspective on ethics as a field of philosophical and theological investigation, this volume includes reflections on virtue and vice, love and sin, and the political outcomes to which certain ethical stances tend to give rise. For Augustine himself, ethics was never merely theoretical. Ethical concerns are concrete; and ethical solutions should be practical. Accordingly, this volume gives Augustinian ethical arguments realization by connecting them to modern anxieties about ministry, health care, diet, and incarceration.
Divided into five sections, the essays collected here highlight the ongoing relevance of Augustine’s work even in settings quite distinct from his own era and context. The first section lays down the groundwork for Augustinian ethics by examining the foundations of his thoughts on morality, self-formation, domination, and abuse. The next three sections are oriented around the themes of love, sin, and politics. The final section makes clear the consequences of Augustinian ethical thinking today, with a view to how pastors preach, how physicians heal, how prisoners suffer, and even how we should approach the ethics of eating.
Kim Paffenroth is professor of religious studies and the director of the Honors Program at Iona College.
Sean Hannan is associate professor at MacEwan University.
Part I. The Foundations of Augustinian Ethics
Chapter 1. Augustine’s Early Ethics: A Reconsideration
Chapter 2. Thinking with Augustine: On Domination and Abuse
Chapter 3. Beauty, Morality, and the Promise of Happiness
Chapter 4. The Heart of the Father in Augustine’s Moral Thought
Veronica Roberts Ogle
Chapter 5. In Conspectu Dei: Journey in the Land of the Augustinian Conscience
Chapter 6. Interiority, Community, and Self-Formation: Augustine and Monica at Ostia
Part II. The Ethics of Love
Chapter 7. The Weight of Love: On the Limits of Autonomy in Augustine’s Confessions
Chapter 8. ‘More Than Simply Bystanders:’ Augustine, Brené Brown, and the Role of Empathy in Accompanying Others
Chapter 9. Augustine on the Privacy of Conscience and Love of God and Neighbor
Chapter 10. Love Between Desire and Will: An Investigation of Augustine’s Concept of Love Assisted by Computational Methods
Eva Elisabeth Houth Vrangbaek and Laigaard Nielbo
Part III. The Ethics of Sin
Chapter 11. Original Sin and Justice in Augustine of Hippo’s Anti-Pelagian Writings (412-415 CE)
Chapter 12. Pia Impudentia: The Paradox of Ethics and Invisibility in Augustine
Chapter 13. Augustine on Original Sin and the Origin of the Soul: Ethical Implications
Part IV. The Politics of Ethics
Chapter 14. The Ethics of History: Augustine, Afro-Pessimism, and the 1619 Project
Chapter 15. Augustine, Pluralism, and Diversity
Fr. Hans Feichtinger
Chapter 16. The Image of God in the City of God
Part V. Applied Augustinian Ethics
Chapter 17. “The Truth Belongs to Christ:” Moral Idealism and Pastoral Reality in Augustine’s Rejection of Lies
Sr. Margaret Atkins
Chapter 18. An Inarticulacy of Meaning: The Significance of Augustinian Restlessness for Modern Medicine
Chapter 19. Daring to Leave the Fallen World: Reflecting on Prison Abolition with Augustine
Chapter 20. Eros, Eating, Attention: The Ethics of Incarnation in Augustine and Simone Weil
Rachel Matheson and Travis Kroeker
“This exciting collection of essays brings together work by a new generation of scholars to explore Augustine’s ideas about the moral life across a range of traditional and contemporary issues. The depth of knowledge, creativity, and independence of mind exhibited here augurs well for the future of scholarship on the redoubtable Bishop of Hippo. Highly recommended.”
"This wide-ranging and expansive collection brings together serious scholarship to ground the foundation of Augustine's ethics, thoughtfully examine its key themes, and insightfully engage with contemporary issues."
“The volume Augustine and Ethics brings out what I can only see as the highly fortuitous chemistry between the ancient author Augustine and the perennially relevant topic of Ethics. By drawing on a wide array of scholars and themes, including applied ethics, it surpasses the familiar range of such edited collections in both scope and intensity. The result is an Augustine who speaks to today’s moral and ethical problems in ways that are neither ephemeral nor overly abstract and philosophical. It is as if by avoiding an overindulgence in meta-language the volume can show us a more real Augustine, one who is steeped in the history of his own time and yet fully respondent to the complex lives of today’s readers.”