«Creatio ex nihilo» and the Theology of St. Augustine

The Anti-Manichaean Polemic and Beyond

by N. Joseph Torchia (Author)
©1999 Monographs XXV, 279 Pages
Series: American University Studies , Volume 205


This study proceeds from an investigation of the significance of the Christian doctrine of creatio ex nihilo in some of the key components of St. Augustine's extended anti-Manichaean polemic. To a great extent, his devastating critique of the Manichaeans' world view, their conception of evil, and their most fundamental theological presuppositions relied heavily upon the affirmation that God ultimately created everything that exists from nothing. In broader terms, the study demonstrates how the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo provided Augustine with an effective means of defining the character of created being as finite and mutable, and drawing a crucial ontological distinction between the Divine Nature and that which God creates. Such teachings were operative in some of the key themes of Augustine's theology.


XXV, 279
Publication date
2012 (December)
Christian doctrine Anti-Manichaean polemic Creation Ontological distinction Theology
New York, Bern, Berlin, Frankfurt/M., Paris, Wien, 1999. XXV, 279 pp.

Biographical notes

N. Joseph Torchia (Author)

The Author: N. Joseph Torchia, O. P., is a native Philadelphian. After undergraduate studies at St. Joseph's University and a period of graduate research at the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, he received his M.A. from Villanova University and Ph.D. from Fordham University in Philosophy. He was subsequently awarded an Andrew W. Mellon Fellowship for graduate studies at the Catholic University of America, where he completed a second doctorate in Early Christian Studies. Dr. Torchia has taught Philosophy at Fordham University and Mount St. Mary's College, and Theology at Villanova University. He has presented papers at scholarly gatherings in the United States, Great Britain, and Italy. His writings have appeared in Augustinus, Augustinian Studies, Collectanea Augustiniana, The Journal of Early Christian Studies, The Modern Schoolman, Studia Patristica, and Augustine Encyclopedia. He is also the author of Plotinus, Tolma, and the Descent of Being: An Exposition and Analysis (Peter Lang, 1993). He entered the Dominican Eastern Province of St. Joseph (U.S.A.) in 1996 and is currently assigned to the Immaculate Conception Priory in Washington, D.C.


Title: «Creatio ex nihilo» and the Theology of St. Augustine