University of Notre Dame

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Augustine on the Resurrection

posted on 2021-04-14, 00:00 authored by Augustine M. Reisenauer, O.P.

This study adventures with Augustine of Hippo (354–430) into the resurrection. It explores how Augustine develops and articulates his understanding of his Catholic faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ and of the rest of humanity. After situating itself within the field of contemporary research on Augustine, this study first tracks the initial phases of his early placing and grappling with the resurrection. It then investigates his articulations of the fleshly resurrection of Jesus Christ, of encountering the resurrected Lord even in the scriptural proclamation and preaching of his resurrection, and of the twofold application of Christ’s paschal mystery to the whole human person, by way of sacrament and by way of example. From the witness of Scripture, Augustine grasps that our integral resurrection consists of a twofold process: (1) the historical and spiritual resurrection of the human soul from its death in sin to life in Christ; and (2) the eschatological and fleshly resurrection of the human body from its temporal death to eternal existence, either in eternal death or in eternal life. Accordingly, this study explores the contours and contents of the present resurrection of the human soul, analyzes his narration of his own spiritual resurrection, and examines his views on some of the most extreme embodiments of the spiritual resurrection and expressions of hope for the fleshly resurrection as Christians approach their deaths and handle their dead. Finally, this study focuses on Augustine’s arguments for the credibility of the future resurrection and his speculations on the resurrected conditions of the damned and of the saints. In an epilogue, it considers how he approaches his own death in hope for the resurrection of his flesh. Throughout its course, this exploration attends to how Augustine critically and constructively responds to philosophical, cultural, and heretical opponents of the resurrection, including the Platonists and Neoplatonists, the Roman pagans, and the Manichaeans, who either deny it completely or attempt to provide an alternative version of it. This study evinces that, at the heart of Augustine’s theological life and work, stands his belief in, his hope for, and his love of the integral resurrection of humanity in the risen Lord Jesus Christ by the God of the resurrection.


Date Modified


Defense Date


CIP Code

  • 39.0601

Research Director(s)

John C. Cavadini

Committee Members

Ann Astell Khaled Anatolios Cyril O`Regan


  • Doctor of Philosophy

Degree Level

  • Doctoral Dissertation


  • English

Alternate Identifier


Library Record


OCLC Number


Program Name

  • Theology

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