Saturday, July 02, 2016


Do We Understand, or Just Feel We Understand?

James J. O'Donnell, Augustine: A New Biography (New York: Ecco, 2005), p. 174:
If repeatedly we feel on reading stories of his life that we understand the issues, concerns, and attitudes he and his contemporaries shared, that's not because we have seen and understood them and made a serious historical attempt to compare them to our own, but because they (and their modern translators) use names and labels that elide the gaps that separate us and them and make their issues and their affiliations seem relevant.

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