Last February 13, 2015, Rev. Fr. Gary McCloskey OSA of the Villanova Province visited the San Agustin Center of Studies to give a talk on “St. Augustine’s Pedagogy and Reflection Circle” at St. Thomas of Villanova Multi-Purpose Hall. STVI students and professors, and friars of the Saint Nicholas of Tolentine Hall attended the talk.
Fr. McCloskey claimed that studies on Augustine still attracted many scholars and writers. Such attraction showed that Augustine is still relevant and interesting even today. In the talk proper, He enumerated four stages of Augustine’s introspection typified by corresponding works of Augustine. First are theDialogues/Sermons which reflect Augustine’s lived experience. Second is the Soliloquies, the meditation of Augustine on his lived experience. Thirdly, the Retractationes which Fr. McCloskey translates asReconsiderations transcend meditation towards reflection. Lastly, the Confessions which corresponds to Augustine’s return to lived experience which is the first stage of his reflection circle. Here, he puts the insights from reflection into shared visions and plans. From this vantage point, Augustine relates the different stages of his life and admonishes his readers to avoid the pitfalls that he fell into. This book tells us that Augustine is a developmental thinker, which means that his thought underwent many changes and development as he matured as reflected in his writings.
Fr. Gary McCloskey OSA is the Prior of the Saint Thomas of Villanova Monastery, Pa, USA. He is also the Executive Director of the Augustinian Way of Life Center and Director of the Augustinian Friends. These groups are interested in Augustine’s spirituality and Augustinian values.