Augustine's Confessions: Communicative Purpose and Audience by Annemare Kotze

By Annemare Kotze

This booklet is ready the communicative function and the viewers of the Confessions. It illuminates the measure to which the communicative function of the paintings is to transform its readers, i.e. a protreptic goal, and the measure to which the objective viewers should be pointed out as Augustine's strength Manichaean readers. a short survey of attainable literary antecedents issues to the lifestyles of different works that include a similar mix of an autobiographical part (a conversion tale) with a polemical and exegetical part (an argument that goals to persuade the reader of the advantages of a particular standpoint) that characterizes the Confessions. The booklet presents a brand new standpoint at the that means and constitution of Augustine's usually misunderstood masterpiece.

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Extra info for Augustine's Confessions: Communicative Purpose and Audience (Supplements to Vigiliae Christianae, V. 71)

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Augustine’s Confessions (1996). His main focus is on the conversion experiences (or different stages of an ongoing conversion process) described by Augustine: the account of his reading of the Hortensius and how it affected him in Book 3; the narration of the difficult thought processes which eventually enabled him to conceive of God as a spiritual being in book 7; and the famous description of his final conversion in book 8. 47 46 O’Connell’s focus does, however, ultimately seem to be on the historical Augustine as is indicated when he expresses his frustration at Augustine’s often simply not providing the reader with the kind of detail needed to reconstruct this historical person.

In the following I focus on statements that do not pertain directly to the genre of the Confessions, but that originate from sound analyses of the text and that support my thesis (following Feldmann and Mayer) that the Confessions belongs to the protreptic genre. This procedure is made difficult in the sense that my own explanation of exactly what constitutes a genre and the protreptic genre in particular only follows in chapter 2. For the time being the reader is entreated to bear 53 See for example the suggestions evaluated by Troxel (1994).

Keevak’s ‘Reading (and Conversion in) Augustine’s Confessions’ (1995) is not concerned with the genre or communicative purpose of the work, but his examination of the question ‘whether the reader too is meant to convert’ pertains directly to the communicative purpose of the Confessions. g. ’ (258). In his examination of the intricate relationships between speaker and intended reader Keevak highlights the strong emphasis on the activity of reading in the Confessions. Like 59 Quotations from Miles (1997) all come from the opening sections of the electronic version of Miles’ review article where no page numbers are indicated.

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