Augustine's theology of preaching
Randolph, David James
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The purpose of this dissertation is to set forth systematically and to analyze critically the theology of preaching of Aurelius Augustine, 345-430 A.D. Available source material was studied resulting in a subject index which disclosed the most promising lines of investigation. The dissertation deals with Augustine's theological orientation as it bears on his theology of preaching, the nature and purpose of preaching, the content of preaching, the method of preaching, and the actual preaching of Augustine. The guiding principle of Augustine's theology of preaching in his understanding of God as personal being. The God of the Christian revelation both is and cares for man. As the ultimate, God commands ment to preach through authorities He ordains in history: Scripture, church, and reason. As personal being in His ultimate reality, He compels men to preach. Men are moved to witness to His gracious love supremely demonstrated in Jesus Christ. The purpose of preaching is rooted in the nature of God. Theology of preaching proceeds from this revealed truth. It begins in metaphysics and issued in history. Theology of preaching is concerned throughout with God and man as personal beings, existing in an inviolable Creator/creature relationship in which God interacts with man without absorbing him. Preaching in instruction in the Christian faith. Christians preach because the God revealed in Jesus Christ commands and compels them to preach. The content of Christian preaching is the faith of the church, proceeding from belief in the Trinity, which faith is at once ultimate and existential truth. The method of preaching consists fundamentally in the personal preparation of the preacher as a Christian, the determination of the subject from Scripture, interpretation of Scripture according to sound principles, and communication to the hearers. Communication is from person to persons in the presence of God. Theology of preaching effects itself in the act of preaching for which it provides the origin and structure. Major issues of Augustine's theology of preaching are viewed in the perspective of some aspects of subsequent theological thought and homiletical method. Much later thought and practice is found to be illuminating, but revision is necessitated only in the area of Augustine's biblical exegesis. Augustine's theology of preaching is found to be biblically sound, classically Christian, and rationally coherent. [TRUNCATED]
Thesis (Ph.D.)--Boston University.
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