Michael Hanby identifies the modern concept of will that emerges in Descartes' work as the product of a notion of self more proper to Stoic theories of immanence than to Augustine's own rigorous understandings of the Trinity, creation, self and will. Though Augustine's encounter with Stoicism ultimately resulted in much of his teaching being transferred to Descartes and other modern thinkers in an adulterated form, Hanby draws critical attention to Augustine's own disillusionment with Stoicism and his interrogation of Stoic philosophy in the name of Christ and the Trinity. Representing a new school of theology willing to engage critically with other disciplines and to challenge their authority, Augustine and Modernity offers a comprehensive new interpretation of De Trinitate and of Augustinian concepts of will and soul. Revealing how much of what is now thought of as 'Augustinian' in fact has its genealogy in Stoic asceticism, it interprets the modern nihilistic Cartesian subject not as a logical consequence of a true Christian Trinitarian theology, but rather of its perversion and abandonment.
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