The Order of Saint Benedict

The Rule of Benedict
Bibliography-- Topics

Augustine and Benedict

[Submitted 19 June 1994 to Prof. James J. O'Donnell's discussion of "The Influence of Augustine" on the Interscripta mailing list.]

Citations and Allusions to Augustine in the Rule of Saint Benedict.

"While the Rule of Benedict (RB) remains primarily in the tradition of Egypt as mediated by Cassian and the Rule of the Master, the second most important influence upon it is that of Augustine, whose humaneness and concern for fraternal relationships have contributed to the RB some of its best known and most admired qualities. It has rightly been said that 'with the Rule of Augustine western monasticism entered upon the road which led to Benedict' [R. Lorenz, "Die Anfaenge des abendlaendischen Moenchtums im 4. Jahrhundert" ZKG 77 (1966)]."

For a discussion of monasticism in Roman Africa from which the above quotations were taken see RB 1980, pp. 59-64.

The numbers below preceded by an asterisk refer to passages that may be considered quotations from Augustine, although this does not necessarily imply that Saint Benedict was directly citing the work in question. All others indicate possible sources and allusions that illustrate the cultural and linguistic background, even though they may not be immediate sources. For indications of English translations, see RB 1980, pp. xxii-xxiii.

  Augustine, De civitate Dei: PL 41.13; CCL 47 & 48.
       11,28         RB Prol.2
       13,20              71.1
       14,6               64.11
       19,19              64.8
       22,2                2.33

  Augustine, Confessiones: PL 32:659; CSEL 33,1.
       8,12,28       RB Prol.28

  Augustine, De consensu Evangelistarum: PL 34.1041; CSEL 43.
       1,13          RB    5.14

  Augustine, Contra Cresconium: PL 43:445; CSEL 52.
       4,37          RB    1.9

  Augustine, Contra epistulam Parmeniani: PL 43.33; CSEL 51.
       2,13,31       RB    1.9

  Augustine, Contra Faustum Manichaeum: PL 42.207; CSEL 25,1.
       25,56         RB   64.8

  Augustine, Ennarrationes in psalmos: PL 36.67; CCL 38-40.
       25,11         RB    4.42-43
       29,9               72.11
       33,9             Prol.9-18
       33,16-18         Prol.9-18
       103,1,19           31.7
       118,4,1            64.12
       132,3               1.10-11
       136,21           Prol.28
       143,9            Prol.9-18

  Augustine, Epistulae: PL 33.61; PLS 2,359; CSEL 34,44,57,58.
       22,6          RB   31.16
       48,3               19.7
       130,20             20.3-4
       157,40              4.27
       211,5              33.6; 34.1; 55.20
       *211,7             19.7; *52.1-3
       211,9              34.3-4
       *211,11            28.8; 46.3-4; *54.1; 64.11
       *211,12           *54.2-3
       *211,13           *35.13
       *211,15             2.34; 64.7; *64.15

  Augustine, In Ioannis epistulam ad Parthos, tractatus x: PL 35.1977.
       43,1          RB    4.42-43

  Augustine, De mendacio: PL 40.487; CSEL 41.
       15,28         RB    4.27

  Augustine, De moribus Ecclesiae catholicae et de moribus
                Manichaeorum: PL 32.1309.
       1,67          RB   21.1
       1,70               48.8

  Augustine, De natura et gratia: PL 44.247; CSEL 60.
       20,22         RB Prol.2

  Augustine, De opere monachorum: PL 40.547; CSEL 51.
       36            RB    1.10-11
       37                 48.1

  Augustine, Quaestiones in Heptateuchum: PL 34.547; CSEL 28,2,3; CCL 33.
       3,31          RB    2.30

  Augustine, Sermones: PL 38-39; PLS 2.742.
       *49,5         RB  *64.11
       56,13              13.13
       96,2                4.42-43
       113,6               2.33
       211,5               6.6
       *340,1            *64.8

  Augustine, Sermones codicis Guelferbytani: PLS 2.593.
       22,5          RB    4.42-43

  Pseudo-Augustine, De ordine monasterii: PL 32.1449; 66.995.
       1             RB   41
       2                  42.2-6; 42.3-8
       4                  33.3
       5                   5.17-19
       8                  51.1; 57.4-7
      10                  21.5; 45.3; 73.8

RB 1980 includes other patristic and ancient works besides Augustine in its two indexes: "Patristic and Ancient Works to RB" and "RB to Patristic and Ancient works." These indexes appear on pages 594-600 and 600-607.

RB 1980 was produced by a team of Benedictine scholars to mark the fifteenth centenary of the birth date traditionally ascribed to St. Benedict of Nursia, A.D. 480. It is the first English translation of the Rule that follows the versification of the Latin text established by Anselm Lentini in 1947.

Location:  BX3004 .E6 1981
Author:    Benedict, Saint, Abbot of Monte Cassino.
U-Title:   Regula. English & Latin
Title:     RB 1980 : the rule of St. Benedict in Latin and English with
              notes / editor, Timothy Fry ; associate editors, Imogene
              Baker ... [et al.].
Publisher: Collegeville, Minn. : Liturgical Press, © 1981.
Descriptn: xxxvi, 627 p. ; 24 cm.
Notes:     Includes indexes.  Translation of: Regula.
Bibliog:   Bibliography: p. xxxii-xxxvi.
Subject:   Benedictines--Rules.
Author:    Fry, Timothy, O.S.B., 1915-
Title:     Rule of St. Benedict.

Richard Oliver, OSB MA
St. John's Abbey
Collegeville, MN 56321-2015
Website: <www.richoliver.us/>

Date: Sun, 19 Jun 1994 22:40:17 NDT
Sender: interscripta@morgan
From: "James O'Donnell"
To: roliver
Subject: inclusive vs. exclusive Quellenforschung
X-Comment: InterScripta Mailing List

*Many* thanks to R. Oliver for the Aug. --> Reg. Ben. posting, which he had first offered me during the Augustine seminar last spring. This gives an opportunity to make a point about what such things are, and perhaps to begin discussion of methodology arising out of the whole data set of what we've seen these last two weeks.

As Oliver's posting makes clear, the parallels posted are just parallels. No claim is made by RB 1980 that all these passages are ones where "Benedict" (i.e., Benedict or his own immediate source) was consciously echoing, or even aware of, the precise Augustinian passage in question. My own judgment is that there's an interesting problem there, far from solved, concerning the mediation of Augustinian ideas and texts into Gaulish and then Italian use in the 5th century: Tom Smith's book on Faustus of Riez that I mentioned in my first posting here points to the kind of reconsideration that is needed.

But that's beside my point now, which is simply this: even, and almost especially, when the question of conscious intertextuality is set aside, there is considerable value in this kind of *exercise*. IF, let us argue, we take an inclusive view, how much Augustine can we *possibly* find in Benedict? The natural second thought experiment to follow that is, of course, if we take a very hard-nosed view, how *little* Augustine can we *prove* is in Benedict? I think we need to know the answers to both questions in order to have a sense of what is possible and to go forward suitably unsure of ourselves.

Other examples of this that I can think of are: editions of Boethius Consolation in which an inclusive view is taken of echoes of scripture -- there is in fact probably a maximum of one conscious scriptural echo in that text, and that may be a chimera we impose on it, and we need to know *that*: but as long as we do, then it is also useful to know what happens if we set our standards differently. A recent classic in this vein is Henry Chadwick's translation of the *Confessions*: the notes there are chock-a-block full of Plotinus (no surprise after Chadwick's 1986 *Augustine*), and I got curious and did a tabulation. Chadwick gives footnotes in Conf. to many *more* treatises of Plotinus than the most generous and Plotinizing of Augustine scholars has ever claimed Augustine could have read himself. Does this mean Chadwick is wrong? Or must he sustain a claim that Augustine *did* read these things? Better I think to say that his annotation provides us with a strong Plotinian reading of the Confessions -- and that's *one* of the ways I can learn what the Confessions are like.

The problem is always *not* claiming more for your annotation than is justified, and the rhetoric of Quellenforschung over time is both inclusive and optimistic, and the natural critical reaction is to take back "sources" "analogues" and the like that the optimistic searcher has found. That critical dialogue is valuable, and my point is only that it is a dialogue not possible without the optimistic, inclusive movement to counterplay the skeptical, exclusive movement.


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