HTS Theological Studies
On-line version ISSN 2072-8050
Print version ISSN 0259-9422
KOTZE, Annemaré. Corporal punishment and martyrdom in Augustine's Confessiones 1.9.14-15. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2008, vol.64, n.4, pp.1653-1665. ISSN 2072-8050.
The article examines a passage from the Confessions in which two instances of violence are introduced. In the course of his autobiographical narration Augustine describes how, as a school boy, he feared corporal punishment and compares it to martyrs' fear of martyrdom. The first part of the article examines some issues concerning martyrdom and the rivalry that characterized religious life in the 4th century CE and how this may have influenced the world of Augustine and his audience. The second section analyzes the references to corporal punishment in order to illuminate the function of this passage within the context of the autobiographical narration and the overall communicative purpose of the work.