An Epistemological Analysis of St. Augustine's Confessions

Dr. John W. Luton
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In what has been called history's first authentic autobiography, Augustine presents his reader with a realistic and moving glimpse into the soul and psyche of a man whose writings greatly influenced the stabilization and spread of western Christianity. Viewing his pre-regenerate life through the eyes of faith, Augustine presents his poignant struggle for meaning, which led down a variety of philosophical paths before he accepted the Christian faith. In this paper, Augustine's ideas about the certainly and levels of knowledge are explored. What does it mean to contemplate eternal things? Can one perceive immutable truths? And, in the final analysis, what is the purpose of knowledge anyway?

Keywords: Augustine, Epistemology, Theory of Knowledge, Perception, Faith, Purpose of Knowledge
Stream: Literature, Literary Studies
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English

Dr. John W. Luton

Associate Professor, Mass Communication, Department of Language, Literature and Communication School of Arts and Humanities, Elizabeth City State University

From as early as he can remember, John Luton has possessed a profound interest in language, communication and culture. After completing his bachelor's and master's degrees at Baltimore Hebrew University and St. Mary's Seminary, respectively, Luton earned a Ph.D. in Communication Studies at Regent University. His specialization is intercultural communication. He is particularly interested in the effects of religious orientation on communication dynamics. Since January 2001, Dr Luton has served as Associate Professor of Mass Communication at Elizabeth City State University, a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina. He also serves as Bisu People Group Coordinator for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship which, along with Wycliffe Bible Translators, sponsors literary and cultural preservation work among the Bisu of Thailand.

Ref: H05P0874