top of page

Let All Flesh Sing (Theology of Music)

Updated: Oct 10, 2022

Video from Theopolis Institute

Let all mortal flesh make music.

"One of the best discussions of Augustine’s views on time comes from Jeremy Begbie’s Theology, Music, and Time (ch. 3).

Following Paul Ricoeur, Begbie claims that Augustine’s distentio “is conceived as the three-fold present, and the threefold present as distentio. The distentio consists in the non-coincidence of the mind’s three modes of action. They are in discord. As we attend to impressions, expectation and memory pull in opposite directions: in the process of reciting a psalm, ‘the scope of the action which I am performing is divided between the two faculties of memory and expectation, the one looking back to the past which I have already recited, the other looking forward to the part which I have still to recite.’”

The “enigma” (Ricoeur) that Augustine brings up is “that the more the mind engages in its three-fold activity, the more acutely distentio is felt: discordance emerges ‘again and again out of the very concordance of the intentions of expectation, attention, and memory’ (Ricoeur). The more the mind works in memory, attention and expectation, the more it is felt to be pulled asunder.”.. from the article: Augustine and the Music of Time


4 views0 comments
bottom of page