The Two Books of God: The Metaphor of the Book of Nature in Augustine

Oskari Juurikkala

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Augustine is considered one of the originators of the metaphor of the book of nature, but what did he say about it? This article examines all the metaphors with which Augustine seems to refer to the visible world as a divine book. It is found that four of the often-cited passages have a different meaning, but two of them refer to sensible nature as a book. The article further explores how the idea of God’s two books – nature and Scripture – influences Augustine’s literal interpretation of Genesis and his Trinitarian theology. Finally, it argues that the ultimate foundation for the Augustinian book of nature should be sought in his theology of the Word.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)479-498
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Augustine
  • Book of Nature
  • Faith and Reason
  • Metaphor
  • Natural Theology


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