About

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Miles Hollingworth is a philosopher, writing on the Western tradition – its key texts and figures.

He is a Professor at the Patristic Institute, the Augustinianum, in Rome – where he teaches St. Augustine of Hippo’s thought and spirituality.

His literary agent is Rachel Calder at The Sayle Literary Agency, 1 Petersfield, Cambridge CB1 1BB, United Kingdom, info [at] sayleliteraryagency [dot] com, 0044 (0)1223 303035.

He was born in London in 1981, but grew up in South Africa, in the Eastern and then the Western Cape. He was educated in Cape Town at the Western Province Preparatory School and the Diocesan College. He afterwards studied at Durham University in the United Kingdom, where he obtained a BA joint honours in Politics & History as well as an MA by thesis and a PhD, both in Ancient & Medieval Political Theory.

He has since written two books, both on Augustine and his place in Western civilization. The Pilgrim City: St. Augustine of Hippo and his Innovation in Political Thought was shortlisted for the Royal Historical Society’s Gladstone History Book Prize. Saint Augustine of Hippo: An Intellectual Biography was supported by a Jerwood Award for Non-Fiction from the Royal Society of Literature and the Elizabeth Longford Grant for Historical Biography from the Society of Authors.

Of Saint Augustine of Hippo Rowan Williams wrote: This is a book whose style and feel are really worthy of Augustine himself — humane and probing, full of telling metaphor and seriousness about the strangeness of human experience. It is capable of doing for a new generation a great deal of what Peter Brown’s epochal biography did half a century ago.

He is now working on two new book commissions from Bloomsbury Publishing. The first, Inventing Socrates, will be published in 2015. The second, Ludwig Wittgenstein: An Intellectual Biography, is a new biography of the philosopher to be published in 2016.

Inventing Socrates Cover

From the back cover:

Inventing Socrates is a book about the consequences of knowledge and the coming of age. It is written in knowledge’s Western setting, making allegorical as well as literal use of the event known as the ‘birth of philosophy’ – an event that began in ancient Greece in the 6th-century B.C., when a handful of thinkers first looked at the natural world through the critical eyes of fledgling science.

Very little of concrete fact is known about this first philosophy and its protagonists. Only scant fragments of their writings have survived; and these are nearly always poetical and esoteric, some no more than a single line. They are freighted with meanings that might take one in two different directions at once; and this ambidexterity between ancient and modern has always been their beguiling feature. Altogether these thinkers are known as the Presocratics, because they pioneered the rational methods that Socrates would take to the question of the good life. If Socrates stands today as an icon of Western self-esteem, these pioneers are said to show the emergence of that poise from the fug of myth and religion. Apparently they prove the evolution of Western intelligence and the value of living today – in the secular maturity of its latest, greatest hour. But what if their continuing readability and tactility were actually to become the demonstration against that?

This is not just, then, a book about the foundations of Western thought. It is a book about all that we invest in the ideas of ancient and modern. Left to right is the Western way of learning and growing, but, as Miles Hollingworth shows, the truths of the human condition are subterranean corridors running psychologically and eternally.