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Narration of Self in the Autobiographies of Augustine of Hippo and Teresa of Avila

K R, Leena (2013) Narration of Self in the Autobiographies of Augustine of Hippo and Teresa of Avila. Other thesis, Christ University.

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Abstract

This dissertation is a study of narration of self in the autobiographies of Augustine of Hippo and Teresa of Avila. Confessions, the autobiography of Augustine of Hippo, is considered the first organized spiritual autobiography in the Western Europe and The Life of Teresa of Jesus measured as the first spiritual autobiography among women. In the main argument I propose that the self narrated in Confessions is a confessional self and the self narrated in The Life of Teresa of Jesus is an inquisitional self. According to Christian tradition confession is the disclosure of sins to a priest and acknowledging and praising the Holiness of God for his mercy towards a sinful man. In Confessions, Augustine makes a confession to God, to himself, and to the human kind. Augustine narrates a confessional self because all throughout the text we observe a total surrendering of his sins and flaws to God without any justification or argument similar to a confession. The self narrated by Teresa in The Life of Teresa of Jesus, I argue, is an inquisitional self. It is because Teresa has written the autobiography by the command of her confessors. Teresa’s vision and spiritual ecstasies made a contradiction in the church and predicted that it was from devil. In order to prove the reality and truth it was necessary to submit her life history to the judicial court, which was established as an inquisitional court. Therefore her confessors asked her to write her life story only with the explanation of spiritual favours she received. She was forced to write a life story with many restrictions. Consequently the self narrated in The Life of Teresa of Jesus became an inquisitional self where she hides many incidents of the real life.

Item Type:Thesis (Other)
Subjects:Thesis > MPhil > English Studies
Divisions:M Phil > English Studies
ID Code:4944
Deposited By:Knowledge Center Christ University
Deposited On:17 Oct 2013 20:11
Last Modified:19 Oct 2013 19:45

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