By Jason David BeDuhn
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Additional info for Augustine Accused: Megalius, Manichaeism, and the Inception of the Confessions
28), to make a false pretense of wanting to do something in order to provide by that deception edifying instruction. . It is fiction, but not also a lie. Why? Because something pretended or fictitious has a figurative meaning, it doesn’t deceive you. . Christ wanted to draw our attention to . . 129 With this understood, we can appreciate the role of Nathanael—“an Israelite without guile”—under the fig tree. 130 To be without guile does not preclude making use of the “praiseworthy pretending” that leads to a greater truth.
Because of the fracture between the interior self and the lying garment of skin that envelopes it, and because this interior self may be fractured itself, divided in its intentions or partially unknown in its depths, we never know what God knows about us, we are never really sure who we are or what we are about. We must watch ourselves for clues to what God already knows about us. And when we identify a key truth about our character and destiny, all prior conceptions of our self, intentions, motives, and goals must be reconfigured to what has now emerged, because it is that towards which all those prior states were actually tending, despite appearances and misconceptions at the time.
Petil. 11). 108. De mend. 3: Ex animi enim sui sententia, non ex rerum ipsarum veritate vel falsitate mentiens aut non mentiens judicandus est. 109. De mend. 36; cf. Serm. 3; Secund. 17. 116 JOURNAL OF EARLY CHRISTIAN STUDIES while the former marked an identity that was fading away and proved ultimately irrelevant to the question not of what he seemed to be in the past, but of who he actually was. This position develops an idea found already in the De magistro about the interposition of memory between people and the past.
Augustine Accused: Megalius, Manichaeism, and the Inception of the Confessions by Jason David BeDuhn