|next article in this issue
Document Details :
Title: The Voice of the Bridegroom
Subtitle: Allegorical Exegesis as Spiritual Exercise in Book Eleven of Augustine's Confessions
Author(s): STRÓŻYŃSKI, Mateusz
Volume: 65 Issue: 3-4 Date: 2015
The purpose of the paper is to examine an allegorical interpretation of Genesis in Book Eleven of the Confessions in terms of spiritual exercise and contemplation. Augustine continues the Alexandrian tradition of allegorical exegesis, understood as a movement from the material 'letter' towards the immaterial 'spirit'. The study of the Scripture, however, is not a merely discursive activity of the intellect, generating as much as possible different allegorical meanings of the text, but a spiritual exercise and a prayerful activity establishing a relationship and dialogue with God. Augustine uses the biblical metaphor of the feeding deer to describe a three stage process of going from reading through meditation to contemplation. He also suggests six activities that are involved in this exercise, two of which constitute each of the three levels (recipere et resumere, ambulare et pascere, recumbere et ruminare). This exercise culminates in an experience of contemplation, described as the intimate presence of the Word as the Bridegroom.