James K. Lee
Augustine and the Mystery of the Church
Fortress Press 2017
New Books in Biblical StudiesNew Books in Christian StudiesNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Intellectual HistoryNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books in ReligionNew Books in Religion & FaithNew Books Network November 17, 2017 Franklin Rausch
When teaching the first half of world history, I always do a little section on Augustine. My focus is on how he was an important theologian who shaped Christian understandings of war and even influenced Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., as seen in his Letter from Birmingham Jail. The fact though is that I could have an entire course on Augustine, such was the breadth and depth of his thought. James K. Lee, in his new book Augustine and the Mystery of the Church (Fortress Press, 2017), explores one aspect of Augustine’s thought—his ecclesiology. In this carefully written and researched book, James shows how Augustine’s understanding of the church was Christ-centered, and as such, it was not simply an invisible communion of believers isolated from each other, but has a visible, communal aspect and is active in this world. This book is therefore highly suited to anyone interested in Augustine’s thought and ecclesiology, and would work well in a graduate seminar.