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Augustinian Interiority:
The Teleological Deification of the Soul through Divine Grace

CHOI, JACOB HEANGKWON (2010) Augustinian Interiority:
The Teleological Deification of the Soul through Divine Grace.
Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



Augustinian interiority is a way of deifying ourselves in order to attain true happiness(i.e., teleology). Augustine approaches deification chiefly in terms of the ‘image of
God’, from the perspectives of ontology and teleology. Ontologically, we are created inthe image of God and this image is indestructible as long as God sustains our life.
Teleologically, the image has been deformed (and true happiness has become a remote reality for us) due to the Fall. Humanity therefore needs to be restored. How, then, can we renew the image? Augustine observes that the more we know and love God, the more we become like Him. How, then, can we get to know who/what God really is?
This is what Augustinian interiority concerns: its intellectual dimension (i.e., knowing
God) cannot be separated from its ethical dimension (i.e., loving God.

The desire for true happiness, which is God, is universal among us. Since we cannot strive for what we do not know, we must know something about happiness before we pursue it, and the knowledge must be innate in our memory. In addition,
learning/knowing a thing is refreshing our latent memory of that thing. Eventually, our endeavour to understand God is, in fact, an attempt to recall wholly what we have already known about Him. Why, then, do we remember so little about God – especially His immaterial nature? This is because we are preoccupied with material and worldly things. Thus, passing beyond the world of senses, we must make an effort to grasp the reality of the soul, which is, like God, incorporeal and rational: the soul is the best clue
to knowledge of God. Then, we will be able to perceive correctly God’s immanence, omnipresence, and transcendence. Faith is crucial for making progress in our intellectual and ethical ascent to God. However, it is not enough just to believe revealed truths, but we must try to understand them by all means possible. In this way, we can cling to God with our mind and heart, be deified, and move closer to true happiness. Yet, we need to bear two things in mind. One is that without divine grace nothing is possible for us. The other is that, although we cannot know God completely in this life, we must hope for it and love to increase our theological knowledge.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Theology and Religion, Department of
Thesis Date:2010
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:08 Jun 2010 15:35

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