Augustine and Nebridius (Augustine, epp. 3–14). Two Christian Intellectuals and Their Project of a Philosophical Life

Journal article
(Original article)


Publication Details

Author(s): Köckert C
Journal: Revue d Etudes Augustiniennes et Patristiques
Publication year: 2016
Volume: 62
Journal issue: 2
Pages range: 235-262
ISSN: 1768-9260
Language: English


Abstract


The article studies the letters Augustine exchanged with his long-term friend Nebridius. Twelve letters, written between Augustine's retreat from public life in 386 and Nebridius' death someday in 390, have been preserved (Augustine, epp. 3-14). They constitute Augustine's largest extant private correspondence. The collection allows us to identify a programme of ascetic-philosophical discussions in which the two friends engaged after their return to North Africa. It also gives insights into the circumstances of their life and reveals how Augustine presented himself and his situation at Thagaste in 388-390 to the absent friend. The article argues that while Augustine and Nebridius construed the ideal of a joint philosophical life in their letters the realization of this ideal was seriously impeded by their obligations to the family, to other friends, and to the civitas. By and by, the exchange of letters became a substitute for the life they had envisaged. In this regard, their epistolary exchange is compared to the correspondences of other ascetic-minded Christian friends of this period (Basil of Caesarea and Gregory of Nazianzus, Paulinus of Nola and Sulpicius Severus). In an appendix to the article, questions of the letters' date and chronology are discussed. It is argued that only ep. 3 was written at Cassiciacum and that all other letters stem from the period after Augustine's return to North Africa.



FAU Authors / FAU Editors

Köckert, Charlotte Prof. Dr.
Lehrstuhl für Kirchengeschichte I (Ältere Kirchengeschichte)


Research Fields

Christliche Theologie und Frömmigkeit im Kontext kaiserzeitlicher und spätantiker Philosophie
Lehrstuhl für Kirchengeschichte I (Ältere Kirchengeschichte)


How to cite

APA:
Köckert, C. (2016). Augustine and Nebridius (Augustine, epp. 3–14). Two Christian Intellectuals and Their Project of a Philosophical Life. Revue d Etudes Augustiniennes et Patristiques, 62(2), 235-262. https://dx.doi.org/10.1484/J.REA.4.2017034

MLA:
Köckert, Charlotte. "Augustine and Nebridius (Augustine, epp. 3–14). Two Christian Intellectuals and Their Project of a Philosophical Life." Revue d Etudes Augustiniennes et Patristiques 62.2 (2016): 235-262.

BibTeX: 

Last updated on 2018-10-08 at 23:00