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

The Anti-Manichaean Polemic and Beyond


N. Joseph Torchia

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.


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Subject Index 277


Subject Index ayEVVlJto;, 7 apeiron, 140 <'icp9apto;, 7 anOLOV, 146; 161, n. 68 Apologists, 6; 32 apophaticism, 232 Arianism, 249, n. 15 Aristotelianism, 26; 37; 40, n. 6 (cosmology) articles of faith, 182, n. 2 baptism, 240 bora, 3 bolos, 215, n. 60 Buddhism, 66 carmen universitatis, 177 Cassiciacum dialogues, 232 condere, 114 constituere, 114 contingency, 246; 257-259; 260, n. 1 conuersio, 107; 125, n. 53 conversion, 220 corporeal natures, 236 corruption (of the good), 148-151; 170; 246 cosmogony, 65; 82, n. 1 cosmology, 65; 82, n. 1 cosmos, 205 creare, 114; 115 Council of Ariminum, 250, n. 15 Demiurgos, 5; 6 ~lJ~LoupyEw,42, n. 27 ~L

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