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IntercarnationsExercises in Theological Possibility$
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Catherine Keller

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780823276455

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823276455.001.0001

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Confessing Monica: Reading Augustine Reading His Mother

Confessing Monica: Reading Augustine Reading His Mother

With Virginia Burrus

(p.83) Chapter 5 Confessing Monica: Reading Augustine Reading His Mother

Catherine Keller

Fordham University Press

This chapter focuses on Augustine's reading of his postmortem mother, Monica. Monica is among the guilty pleasures enjoyed by the author of the Confessions. In Augustine's tears for her, she morphs into the oceanic deep, tehom, of Genesis, the “something-nothing” or fluency itself. His deconstruction of the (Augustinian) master narrative of the creation of matter from nothing at all seems to open up as the womb of all bodies. For a churning moment, a de-oedipalized respect for Monica stirs the “multiplying matrix” of an alternative. The chapter shows how Augustine hovers agonizingly at the brink of a theology of “becoming” that is also a “becoming-theology,” evading the static doctrinalism to which he elsewhere more wholeheartedly succumbs. It also considers the theological potentialities of the Augustinian Wisdom Mother.

Keywords:   mother, Augustine, Monica, Confessions, tehom, theology, becoming-theology, wisdom

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