Augustine and the west to ad 650

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For Augustine and many other theologians of his era sacramentum refers to an extensive variety of symbols that are rooted in the Incarnation and that unite us to Christ, especially his Crucifixion. As with allegorical interpretation of the Old Testament, many events, rituals, and relationships can be considered sacraments because they are types of Christ and are ultimately fulfilled in him. Thus, certain events and relationships narrated in the Old Testament can be considered sacraments. Though the breadth of Augustine’s list of sacraments greatly exceeds the later designation of seven,-much of Augustine’s theology of the Eucharist, baptism, marriage, and holy orders is still prevalent among Christian theologians. Careful attention to those who lived immediately after Augustine reveals that many of the themes he addressed and some of his teachings were respected by other theologians, but by no means was Augustine the only source for sacramental and liturgical theology.


Institute for Religion and Critical Inquiry

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Book Chapter

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