A Bond between Souls
Friendship in the Letters of Augustine
Augustine’s theology of friendship
The discovery of Augustine’s letters in the mid-twentieth century provided a watershed moment for understanding the bishop of Hippo. The letters of Augustine offer a window into his life. They showcase a theologian on the run, working through difficult pastoral issues. They also show another side of Augustine: the theologian as friend.
In A Bond between Souls: Friendship in the Letters of Augustine, Coleman M. Ford examines Augustine’s understanding of friendship. For Augustine, friendship is the overflow of love and is essential for building Christlike virtue. Friendship differs by context and relationship but is fundamentally rooted in the reality that, in Christ, friendship with God has been restored. In this sense, friendship is fundamentally a spiritual exercise.
With original research rooting Augustine’s letter-writing, theology, and understanding of friendship in antiquity, A Bond between Souls helps readers to understand this doctor of the church in a deeper way.
Coleman M. Ford is assistant professor of Christian formation and director of professional doctoral studies at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary.