Outward Signs by Phillip Cary
Look inside with Google Book Preview
Outward Signs
By Phillip Cary

Outward Signs

The Powerlessness of External Things in Augustine's Thought

By (author) See other recent books by Phillip Cary
Format: Hardback

Normal Price: $112.95
Your Price: $101.66 AUD, inc. GST
Shipping: $7.95 per order
You Save: $11.30! (10% off normal price)
Plus...earn $5.08 in Boomerang Bucks
Availability: Available Available to Backorder, No Due Date for Supply



Outward Signs by Phillip Cary

Book Description

We are used to thinking of words as signs of inner thoughts. In Outward Signs, Philip Cary argues that Augustine invented this expressionist semiotics, where words are outward signs expressing an inward will to communicate, in an epochal departure from ancient philosopical semiotics, where signs are means of inference, as smoke is a sign of fire. Augustine uses his new theory of signs to give an account of Biblical authority, explaining why an authoritative external teaching is needed in addition to the inward teaching of Christ as divine Wisdom, which is conceived in terms drawn from Platonist epistemology. In fact for Augustine we literally learn nothing from words or any other outward sign, because the truest form of knowledge is a kind of Platonist vision, seeing what is inwardly present to the mind. Nevertheless, because our mind's eye is diseased by sin we need the help of external signs as admonitions or reminders pointing us in the right direction, so that we may look and see for ourselves. Even our knowledge of other persons is ultimately a matter not of trusting their words but of seeing their minds with our minds. Thus Cary argues here that, for Augustine, outward signs are useful but ultimately powerless because no bodily thing has power to convey something inward to the soul. This means that there can be no such thing as an efficacious external means of grace. The sacraments, which Augustine was the first to describe as outward signs of inner grace, signify what is necessary for salvation but do not confer it. Baptism, for example, is necessary for salvation, but its power is found not in water or word but in the inner unity, charity and peace of the church. Even the flesh of Christ is necessary but not efficacious, an external sign to use without clinging to it.

Buy Outward Signs book by Phillip Cary from Australia's Online Bookstore, Boomerang Books.


Book Details

ISBN: 9780195336498
ISBN-10: 0195336496
Format: Hardback
(242mm x 162mm x 25mm)
Pages: 384
Imprint: Oxford University Press Inc
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Publish Date: 17-Apr-2008
Country of Publication: United States

Books By Author Phillip Cary

Good News for Anxious Christians by Phillip Cary Good News for Anxious Christians, Paperback (November 2010)

A talented teacher unpacks the riches of traditional Christian spirituality for Christians burdened by the guilt and anxiety of introspective, "in my heart" spiritual techniques.

» View all books by Phillip Cary

Reviews

» Have you read this book? We'd like to know what you think about it - write a review about Outward Signs book by Phillip Cary and you'll earn 50c in Boomerang Bucks loyalty dollars (you must be a member - it's free to sign up!)

Write a book review


Author Biography - Phillip Cary

Phillip Cary is Professor of Philosophy at Eastern University in St. Davids, PA, where he is also Scholar-in-Residence at the Templeton Honors College. He is author of Augustines Invention of the Inner Self (Oxford University Press, 2000) as well as lecture series on Augustine, on Luther and on Philosophy of Religion published by The Teaching Company.

Boomerang Bucks close

For every $20 you spend on books, you will receive $1 in Boomerang Bucks loyalty dollars. You can use your Boomerang Bucks as a credit towards a future purchase from Boomerang Books. Note that you must be a Member (free to sign up) and that conditions do apply.

Recent books by Phillip Cary close
Good News for Anxious Christians by Phillip Cary
Inner Grace by Phillip Cary
»
BoomerangBooks.com.au close