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Augustine's Theory of Time
(496 words)

[German Version]

In book XI of the Confessiones, Augustine asks what time is and how we measure (the duration of) motion. The temporal contrast between beginning and ending he connects with the question whether a human being – or only God – can begin and/or end a motion or action on earth or in the heavens. Through counterfactual hypotheses concerning the forms of motion exhibited by heavenly bodies and about our temporal units, Augustine illuminates the conventional aspects of temporal measurement. He…

Cite this page
Enskat, Rainer, “Augustine's Theory of Time”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 28 May 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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