Augustine (354-430) is the most influential ecclesiastical writer in the Latin West. In many significant ways he established what were to become the principal outlines and foundations of Western theology. Living in an age before the present style of academic micro-specialization, he was very much a multi-discipline scholar. As a result his impact can also be observed in secular areas such as political theory, the role of history, psychology, semiotics, epistemology, social ethics, anthropology, and the literary imagination.
This multifaceted Augustine, who is the subject of such multi-disciplinary academic interest, highlights the reality of the philosophical Augustine, the political Augustine, the monastic Augustine, the literary Augustine, the humanistic Augustine, the homiletical and exegetical Augustine, the pastoral Augustine, the episcopal Augustine, the iconographic Augustine, the theological Augustine and all the other ‘micro-Augustine’s’ that might be able to be identified. To complicate matters further, these different role-determined aspects of Augustine were accorded different emphases and priorities at different phases of European history.
A separate specialist area of history has now developed, therefore. It is the study of the reception of Augustine throughout the ages. This is not as much about what Augustine thought as about what was thought about him. How has this multifaceted Augustine been “seen” and received, and what varying influence did his thought exert, in successive centuries? This has been formalised in the After Augustine Project, which is researching and documenting the reception of Augustine from his death in 430 to the year 2000. Until now, no attempt has ever been made to pursue Augustinian reception as a continuum across all affected disciplines. The project does not intend to concentrate solely on what is often called ‘Augustinism’ or ‘Augustinianism’ in a narrow dogmatic sense; instead, the term ‘reception’ is chosen to indicate a much wider spectrum.
Even so, in this After Augustine Project the tradition of Augustine’s iconography will not be included, nor the history of the manuscript transmission of his works (a separate project in Vienna), or the history of the religious orders that follow the Rule of St Augustine (a separate project in Würzburg).
The Oxford Guide to the Historical Reception of Augustine (OGHRA) His reception variously throughout the centuries is the focus of a book published in three volumes in 2013.
• Contains 600 interdisciplinary entries from a broad range of international scholars on the reception of the thought and work of Augustine of Hippo.
• Accessible volumes which provide references to both primary and secondary sources, and in which all quotes are translated into English.
• Contains a section on the extant works of Augustine, which are documented in light of the most recent scholarship and research.
The Oxford Guide to the Historical Reception of Augustine (OGHRA) is a ground-breaking international and interdisciplinary enterprise on the impact of the thought and work of Augustine of Hippo (AD 354 - 430), containing 2,000 pages. Editor-in-chief Karla Pollmann, Edited by Willemien Otten, the book had twenty-one editiors and over 400 contributors. ISBN 978-0-19-929916-4. Arguably the most influential early Christian thinker in the Western part of the Roman Empire, Augustine's impact has reached further than the religious domain and he has become a veritable icon of western culture. The are three volumers in OGHRA.
OGHRA maps this influence not just in theology, his traditional area of prominence, but far beyond, taking into account fields such as political theory, ethics, music, education, semiotics, literature, philosophy, psychotherapy, religion, and popular culture. Beginning with a detailed introduction, it offers chapter-length discussions and contextualization on the general characteristics of Augustine's reception in various periods, as well as on specific themes as wide-ranging as Islam and gender. OGHRA also surveys the material transmission and intellectual reception of almost all of Augustine's extant works, documented in the light of recent research. The largest part of the volumes comprises around 600 entries which describe, analyse, and evaluate Augustine's influence on a broad variety of key figures and themes through the ages. Link
Book Review: Oxford Guide to the Historical Reception of Augustine. Published in the Bryn Mawr Classical Review 2015.11.33. http://bmcr.brynmawr.edu/2015/2015-11-33.html