Putting on Christ
Augustine's Early Theology of Salvation and the Sacraments
Imprint: Catholic University of America Press
Putting on Christ aims to situate Augustine’s early soteriology and sacramental theology within the context of his personal history and intellectual development. Beginning with an extended analysis of the theology of salvation and sacramental efficacy contained within Augustine’s Confessions (ca. 400), the study then traces the maturation of his views on these matters, beginning with his earliest extant works, the Cassicacum dialogues (ca. 386). The journey entails treating Augustine’s earliest discussions of Christ’s person and his saving work, as well as the believer’s subjective experience of conversion and salvation. As Augustine’s corpus shifts from philosophical dialogues to explicitly apologetic and scriptural-exegetical works, so too does his soteriological lexicon expand to include concepts and terms that will later become his stock-in-trade, such as the virtue of humilitas. And as his roles in the North African Church come to include participation in the presbyterate and the episcopacy, so too does his engagement expand to a wider set of polemical contexts, both anti-Manichaean and anti-Donatist.
Putting on Christ tracks these and many other aspects of Augustine’s maturing thought, showing where lines of both continuity and development lie and aiming to uncover their reasons. In doing so, it reveals Augustine to be a thinker and a teacher who continued to hone his understanding of salvation, the very heartbeat of Christian life and thought, as well as its relation to various other aspects of the Christian theological worldview, from Christology and anthropology to sacramental theology and ecclesiology.
"English speaking scholarship has very little that is extended and good on what humilitas means for Augustine’s theology, and Monroe does a good job of showing its importance in a key period."~Lewis O. Ayres, Durham University
"Ty Monroe’s careful study of Augustine’s early writings, particularly the first thirty-two commentaries on Psalms, Confessions and On Baptism discovers linked changes in his understanding of the mediation of salvation through the incarnation and death of Jesus, as well as the permanent effects of sacramental rituals. His results open new avenues for research into Augustine’s theological development."~J. Patout Burns, Jr., University of Notre Dame
"If thought about Christ gives coherence to Augustine’s teaching, as Goulven Madec suggested long ago, then Christ’s human humility gives coherence to Augustine’s Christology. Analysis of that theme alone makes Ty Monroe’s fine work worth reading. But then Putting on Christ shows how Christ’s humility correlatively grounds the participatory realism that underlies Augustine’s baptismal theology. This meticulous, beautifully written study mines a rich vein hiding in plain sight at the center of Augustine’s thought."~Michael Cameron, University of Portland
"Reading this richly documented book offers us a chance to journey with Augustine as he develops in the understanding and practice of the sacramental life of his community—thus leaving for all time a sense of how to be part of the salvation offered by Christ’s own experience and practice of humility. Monroe thus offers us a thoughtful appreciation of the challenges Augustine faced in trying to bring peace to a divided world by Putting on Christ."~Allan Fitzgerald, OSA, Villanova University
"Beginning with a close reading of Augustine’s journey on the via humilitatis in Confessions, Ty Monroe’s outstanding study then returns to earlier writings to demonstrate the developments that led to Augustine’s more mature sacramental, anthropological, and Christological views at the end of the fourth century. By concentrating on this significant period of Augustine’s life, Monroe reveals how various controversies and contexts contributed to the richer understanding of Christ’s humble efficacy found in Confessions. This is an important book that will both challenge and enlighten the readers of Augustine’s works."~John Gavin, SJ, author of Mysteries of the Lord’s Prayer: Wisdom from the Early Church
"In a brilliant new book, Putting on Christ, Ty Paul Monroe introduces Augustine the theologian of humility to the gentle reader through a careful and insightful reading of the Confessions as the gateway to understanding Augustine’s theology of salvation especially in his earliest writings."~VoegelinView
"Anyone who wants to understand the central development of Augustine’s thought and the main claims of his most famous work will have to engage with Monroe’s learned (and elegant) monograph."~Heythrop Journal