This study aims to establish what Augustine’s ecclesiology was between 354-387AD and how his ecclesial thoughts developed during that period. Scholarship has tended to neglect the importance of this period in understanding Augustine’s ecclesiology as a coherent whole (Alexander 2008:21). Like Harrison (2007: 165-179) and Alexander (2008:18-21), this study establishes that Augustine’s early ecclesiology and its development is an essential lens to understanding Augustine’s later ecclesiology. The thesis statement, which yielded a positive result, is the defining features of Augustine’s ecclesiology were in place by 387AD. A chronological textual approach was used to establish whether the thesis was positive or negative. Primary and secondary sources were used where appropriate to determine Augustine’s ecclesiology. This study established the different phases of Augustine’s ecclesial growth, what the contents of his ecclesiology most likely was during these different phases, how his early ecclesial thoughts influenced his future ecclesial thoughts and what lessons can be learnt for the South African church context.
Dissertation (MA(Theol))--University of Pretoria, 2012.