The Work of the Trinity and the Knowledge of God in Augustine's De Trinitate



This article seeks to set forth the contribution that book 8 of Augustine's De Trinitate makes to our understanding of Augustine's way of knowing and the structure of the De Trinitate. With regards to Augustine's way of knowing, I argue that, in contrast to the results to which the epistemological Christocentrism of Barthian theology can lead, Augustine is able to present an account of the knowledge of God that remains faithful to the witness of Scripture by building his account around the work of each person of the Trinity. With regards to the structure of the De Trinitate, I propose that Augustine's concern in De Trinitate 8 with vain mental images shows that the search for the true image of God in the second half of the De Trinitate is motivated by a concern for the way in which the imagination responds to teaching about the Trinity.