The Enarrationes in Psalmos is the collection of Augustine’s commentaries and sermons on the Psalms. Although Augustine is often at his philosophical best here, bearing various resemblances to the Platonists and other philosophers, he also articulates a distinctively Christian view on what we should desire, on how desire has gone wrong, and on how it is healed. The renewal of desire takes place as a result of and through the unity of Christ and the church, which is the guiding theme of the Enarrationes. Augustine’s Preaching and the Healing of Desire in the Enarrationes in Psalmos traces this theology of desire as it connects to Augustine’s Christology, his ecclesiology, his account of happiness and well-being, and his eschatology. The book closes with some suggestions on what the church can learn today from the Enarrationes in the areas of psychology and wellbeing, biblical exegesis, and homiletics.
Mark J. Boone is assistant professor for the Department of Religion and Philosophy at Hong Kong Baptist University.
Chapter One: Christology and Desire
Chapter Two: Ecclesiology and Desire
Chapter Three: Happiness, Well-being, and Desire
Chapter Four: Eschatology and Desire
Conclusion: Where Do We Go From Here?
About the Author
This book represents an important contribution to the study of Augustine of Hippo and Latin Patristics more generally. The praying of the Psalms has always played an important role in the life and liturgy of the Christian church, and as such it is not surprising that they are central to Augustine's thinking. But his longest and deepest engagement with the psalms - the Ennarationes in Psalmos is rarely studied at length. Boone's careful and erudite analysis of the text shows how Augustine uses the psalms to develop a sophisticated theology of desire that informs his thinking on a wide range of issue. I can think of no better guide to Augustine's complex and rich text than Boone's volume. This book will be essential reading for anyone seeking to understand Augustine's theology.
Augustine has been massively influential for both Protestants and Catholics. Mark Boone shows that the Psalms were at the heart of Augustine's daily worship, reflection, and preaching. This book will be helpful for all those Christians who want to learn from one of the Church's greatest souls how to reorient our desires and how that happens through the Church. It will also help scholars trace the hermeneutics and theology of the theologian who did so much to shape later Christian thought and practice.
Mark Boone is always an illuminating and reliable reader of Augustine, and this book is another major contribution. Given their importance for Augustine, the Psalms have been relatively neglected in Augustine studies. This book introduces us anew to Augustine's reading of the Psalms while focusing attention on two of his greatest passions: desire and love for God, and the mystery of the Church or the totus Christus. Readers will come away from this important book with a far greater knowledge of Augustine the preacher, theologian, and exegete. Even more, readers will be inspired to hunger for God, as members of Christ's Body.
In Augustine’s Preaching, Mark Boone brings together three exciting areas of Augustinian studies: Augustine’s rich theology of desire and love (of which Boone is already an established expert); Augustine’s appropriation of the Psalms, those raw and divinely inspired cries-de-coeur; and Augustine’s incomparable preaching.
I recommend this volume not only to students of St. Augustine but to anyone interested in how praying the Psalms can become a kind of spiritual therapy.