Saint Augustine & the Fall of the Soul: Beyond O'Connell & His Critics (Hardcover)
Augustine's understanding of the origin of the soul and the nature of itsfall looms as one of the most important and controversial questionsamong Augustinian scholars since Robert J. O'Connell first beganpublishing on the topic. O'Connell argued that Augustine embracedPlotinus's doctrine that the soul existed before the body and only fellinto bodily life as the result of sin. Such a position, however, isfundamentally incompatible with Christian anthropology: bodily life isintrinsically corrupted; physical existence is regrettable. Thesupposition that the most influential Christian theologian after St. Paulmaintained such a position generated sharp division between scholarswho were convinced by O'Connell and those who were not. There hasbeen as of yet no scholarly consensus on the subject.