Prayer and the Teaching of Christian Ethics: Socratic Dialogue with God?

Brian Brock*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
11 Downloads (Pure)


In his Confessions Augustine recasts the Greco-Roman dialogue as a conversation with God. This repositioning of the premier pedagogical form of the ancient world Augustine takes as an implication of the Christian confession of God as a speaking God. Introducing Jewish forms of prayer into the Greco-Roman dialogue form transforms it in a manner that has implications for the teaching of Christian ethics today, in offering a theologically elaborated model of the formative and investigative power of conversation. Conversational learning is a practice in which finite creatures lovingly explore a creation that cannot be comprehended completely. Christians understand this formative and explorative conversation as a conversation with God, mediated by Scripture, which prepares its participants to model trust-building conversation in public.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-54
Number of pages15
JournalStudies in Christian Ethics
Issue number1
Early online date29 Oct 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2020


  • Augustine
  • Confessions
  • formation
  • pedagogy
  • prayer


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