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Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www.million-books.com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: HISTORY OF DOGMA, CHAPTER I. HISTORICAL SITUATION. IN the fourth section of Chapter IV., Vol. V. (p. 222 ff), it has been shown that by Augustine the traditional dogma was on the one hand strengthened, i.e., the authoritative force of it, as the most important possession of the Church, was intensified, while on the other hand it was in many ways expanded and recast. That dogma which, in its conception and its construction, was a work of the Hellenic spirit on the soil of the Gospel (see Vol. I., p. 17 ff.), continued to exist; in thinking of dogma one thought of the knowledge of a supernatural world and history, a knowledge that was revealed by God, that was embodied in unalterable articles of doctrine, and that conditioned all Christian life; but into its structure there were interwoven by Augustine in a marvellous way the principles of Christian life-experience, of the experience which he had passed through as a son of the Catholic Church and as a disciple of Paul and the Platonists, while the Roman Church thereafter gave to dogma the force of a great divine system of law for the individual and for Christian society. By these foregoing steps, of which the influence continued to be fundamental, the inner history of Western Christianity in the Middle Ages was determined. We have seen that no substantially new element can be pointed to in the period of athousand years intervening between Augustine and the fifteenth century. Yet the theme which Augustine had given out was not merely reproduced and repeated with a hundred different variations, there was rather a real development and deepening of it. All the elements of that theme passed through a history; they were strengthened. Just for that reason a crisis was bound to arise. The unity which for Augustine included ...
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