Mater Sapientianederlands

Voorkant proefschrift

Main Recommendations

This research shows that the Christian concept and practice of faith initiation should not only be described and understood in terms of maieutics, as often is the case in contemporary approaches. In Augustine’s interpretation of Christian initiation, the spiritual mother and the disciple (myste) are both subjects in the mystagogical process. In this notion of Christian initiation the Holy Spirit is the director of this process, acting in the interest of both persons, while in a maieutical approach it is the midwife who directs the mystagogical process as she accompanies the parturient (myste). Also, Augustine used the symbolism of spiritual motherhood more broadly in relation to instances such as the church community and the Scriptures. They all fulfil a mystagogical function in the initiation to the Christian faith. By analysing and discussing this wealth of motherly symbolism in Augustine’s work, this study gives an innovative impetus to the contemporary fields of mystagogical research and praxis.