|dc.description.abstract||The concept of authenticity is troublesome in that it means different things to different people. The authenticity that emanated from the 17th century rationalism paints a distorted picture of the individual who became the centre of attraction – it is authenticity intermingled with autonomism and individualism. Since then, thinkers from the age of Romanticism until the present age have endeavoured to correct the shortcomings ascribed to authenticity. Charles Taylor in The ethics of authenticity has made great strides in clearing authenticity from its rationalism baggage, but he still has not addressed all its shortcomings.
Since philosophy is never religiously neutral, a philosophical topic can be approached from various fundamental view points. My decision to approach this study from a Christian point of view is affirmed by the notion that the roots of autheniticity can be found by employing the biblical principle of spoliatio Aegyptiorum, also known as ‘appropriation’, to appropriate ideas from Renaissance thinkers along the example of the early church fathers, especially Augustine – and normatively transform it from a Christian point of view.
The result, although sobering, but not surprising, culminates in the realisation that authenticity is neither a product of the mind, nor of self-definition. The path of progress, in discovering one’s authenticity, is an inward journey of contemplative reflection to explore and develop the inner self in seeking a relationship with God||en_US