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Document Details :
Title: To Be or Not to Be the Same, That is the Question
Subtitle: The Augustinian Idipsum as the Hinge between Two Modes of Being, the Divine and the Human
Author(s): BRUNING, Bernard , DUPONT, Anthony
Journal: Studies in Spirituality
Volume: 31 Date: 2021
In the Confessiones, Augustine of Hippo narrates his restless and unhappy state before his conversion. Disordered emotions made Augustine frenetically lose himself in the multiplicity of fleeting bona. As such he was not able to find true happiness, which – he discovered at his conversion – is only to be found in the unicity of God, the aeterna simplicitas, who is semper idem ipse. Augustine describes in Conf. 9, 11 how Ps 4:9 instructed him in this theological and existential truth: God is idipsum, and only in this self-same God peace and happiness is to be found. Subsequent to a status quaestionis on the scholarship concerning the Augustinian idipsum, the current article offers a close reading of Conf. 9 and two earlier occurences in Augustine’s oeuvre of this notion (Enarratio in Psalmum 4,2-10 and De uera religione 40-41). The theolougemon idipsum Augustine of Hippo discovered in Ps 4:9 helped him to come to a hermeneutically linked understanding of God, mankind and their initimate relationship.