Joost van Neer

Cunning as Serpents, Simple as Doves. Serm. 64 auct. (Lambot 12) and 64A (Mai 20). Two sermons by Augustine on Mat 10:16

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Keywords: Sermons; Language; Scripture; Strategy.

It has long been assumed that Augustine's sermons, due to their improvised nature, were arranged in a disorganised manner and were therefore not always easy to understand. Recent research into the use of language and Scripture has demonstrated, however, that this notion must now be regarded as obsolete. This article will show, on the basis of two sermons, sermones 64 auct. and 64A, both on Mat 10:16-23, that Augustine strove to implement a careful structure and a clear argument. Although the two sermons differ in content (each using different elements from the pericope), they are identical in format: once the arrangement from the Latin text edition is abandoned, it transpires that both texts consist of four blocks, the four parts that every sermon ideally comprises according to Augustine's "De doctrina christiana". This new division makes it easier to read and understand the sermons.

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