By Annemare Kotze
This publication is ready the communicative goal and the viewers of the Confessions. It illuminates the measure to which the communicative goal of the paintings is to transform its readers, i.e. a protreptic function, and the measure to which the objective viewers might be pointed out as Augustine's strength Manichaean readers. a short survey of attainable literary antecedents issues to the lifestyles of different works that encompass an analogous blend of an autobiographical part (a conversion tale) with a polemical and exegetical part (an argument that goals to persuade the reader of the benefits of a selected viewpoint) that characterizes the Confessions. The booklet presents a brand new point of view at the that means and constitution of Augustine's usually misunderstood masterpiece.
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Extra resources for Augustine's Confessions: Communicative Purpose and Audience (Supplements to Vigiliae Christianae, V. 71)
Next, let us look at another study that examines the implications of ancient rhetorical practice for an understanding of the Confessions. If DiLorenzo’s arguments (1983) about the meaning of the term confessio for Augustine are valid, this provides very strong support indeed for the suggestion that the Confessions is to be read as a protreptic text. 43 What others have described as an alternation between the narrative and the reﬂexive level in the Confessions, he describes as the typical procedure of rhetoricians who constantly move between ‘hypotheses’ (speciﬁc examples) and ‘theses’ (general statements).
43 What others have described as an alternation between the narrative and the reﬂexive level in the Confessions, he describes as the typical procedure of rhetoricians who constantly move between ‘hypotheses’ (speciﬁc examples) and ‘theses’ (general statements). DiLorenzo does not use the term ‘protreptic’ but repeatedly points to the aim of Augustine’s epideictic rhetoric as to raise the understanding and aﬀections (of Augustine and his readers) to God and to Augustine’s confessio as ‘a verbal response to or, perhaps, a verbal respeaking of God’s persuasive speech to the soul’ (126).
I also agree heartily with his proposal that we should not view the Confessions as autobiography, that our conception of the Confessions as a ‘somewhat disjointed’ autobiography is the result of the fact that ‘we ﬁx our attention too much upon what Augustine tells us of his life—life as we superﬁcially understand it—though he repeatedly says that his life (vita) is God’ (DiLorenzo 1985, 76). 56 Hawkins (1985) also takes for granted that the reader of the conversion narrative is supposed to imitate Augustine and be converted.