Augustine Essay

1581 words - 7 pages

St. Augustine wrote the book Confessions to tell the story of his conversion into Christianity. Throughout this book Augustine addresses three major questions. He defines what is real, what it means to be a self, and how others should respond to his journey. Augustine believes that both the material world and the spiritual world are real from his understanding of the Platonists. The Platonists believed that being a self is being detached from the pleasures of the world that may tempt one from straying from God. Responding to Augustine’s call to be a self is simple. All a person needs to do is find self-control to resist the beauties of the world. In order to understand these three things better Augustine uses his own experiences and the parable of the Prodigal Son to illustrate that if he can find God, anyone can.
Augustine struggles with lust throughout his journey. Through his struggle he finds that the material world is a very real thing. Augustine believes that people fall into the beauty of the material world too easily when in reality the material world is just a reflection of the spiritual world. In order to come to this conclusion that the spiritual world spills over into the material world Augustine uses the Platonist hierarchies to unravel Christianity in a way he can understand it. He writes, “So, step by step, my thoughts moved on from the consideration of material things to the soul, which perceives things through the senses of the body, and then to the soul’s inner power, to which the bodily senses communicated external facts” (Augustine 151). Augustine starts with the self and moves upwards in almost a hierarchy type way. From the self he goes to the soul as a whole which would resemble the Holy Spirit in Christianity. The Holy Spirit is said to “enter” the soul when Christians convert further proving that individual souls stem from the true soul or the Holy Spirit. The hierarchy eventually makes its way up to the creator of everything, God or in the Platonists version the “One” (Augustine 151). Through this Augustine comes to learn that both the material world and the spiritual world are very real. Everything stems from God therefore everything is good. “And when I asked myself what wickedness was, I saw that it was not a substance but perversion of the will when it turns aside from you, O God…” (Augustine 150). He was tempted, however, by astrology toward his beginning walk with Christ. Much like Mill and Wilson he scientifically proved that horoscopes and the stars cannot be correct using the illustration of the two boys born on the same day (Augustine 141). One boy was a wealthy boy that lived a good profitable life and the other boy was born to a slave woman (Augustine 141). According to their horoscopes they should have had the exact same life because they were even born in the same hour of the same day. However, the wealthier boy lived a better life than the slave boy (Augustine 141). Augustine’s eyes were open to the...

Find Another Essay On Augustine

Saint Augustine Essay

890 words - 4 pages Saint Augustine Saint Augustine, b. Nov. 13, 354, d. Aug. 28, 430, was one of the foremost philosopher-theologians of early Christianity and, while serving (396-430) as bishop of Hippo Regius, the leading figure in the church of North Africa. He had a profound influence on the subsequent development of Western thought and culture and, more than any other person, shaped the themes and defined the problems that have characterized the Western

Augustine Essay

1125 words - 5 pages Augustine’s On Christian Doctrine is an introduction to interpreting and clarifying the Bible. Throughout his book, Augustine reveals utmost rhetoric ability. The entire book is made up of four individual “books” or chapters. I’m going to focus on the first two books. Book One begins by discussing enjoyment, use, and interpretation, by relating numerous Christian principles to these ideas. Augustine begins with a discussion of steps in the

Augustine And Conversion

581 words - 2 pages Augustine and Conversion      Conversion can best be defined as surrendering a particular way of life in order to accept another. The very nature of this process indicates the presence of sacrifice. The convert acts almost entirely on faith, giving up the life that seemed right, a life in which they were comfortable, relying only on the assumption that letting Jesus into their hearts will give their life more meaning

Augustine And Love

990 words - 4 pages How does Augustine define love?      Augustine states continuously that he was not yet in love, but was in love with love. This statement doesn’t make sense to me. I don’t believe that someone can be in love with something, if he or she doesn’t understand what love is. “I was not yet in love, but I was in love with love, and from the very depth of my need hated myself for not more keenly feeling the need.” (pg. 35

Augustine and Freedom

5973 words - 24 pages Augustine and Freedom Evil-doing is neglect of eternal things and love of temporal things to the extent of becoming subject to them. This is done by the free choice of the will . . . Free will makes sin possible but it was given that man might live righteously.1 This is a brief summary of what Augustine believed regarding (1) the origin of sin and (2) the purpose for which humanity was endowed with free choice

God’s Relentless Pursuit of Augustine

1075 words - 5 pages person, but the person has to be the one to decide to follow Christ. Augustine definitely experienced this in his life. God relentlessly pursued Augustine through both the pleasant and painful events of his life, and this led to Augustine making the decision to finally accept Christianity and follow God. One of the main avenues God used to pursue Augustine was the granting of a vision to Augustine’s mother, Monica. She desperately wanted her

AUGUSTINE AND THE EARLY CHURCH

1200 words - 5 pages Augustine and the Early Church Augustine of Hippo by Peter Brown Live Oak Public Library, STACKS 270.2 BROW Q5. In Augustine’s unfailing attempt to fight the heresies that plagued the early church, he realized that much of his colleagues and congregation lived by unquestioned faith in the Catholic Church. He also realized that this left them without a strong foundation for which they believed. (Brown, 354) His contributions to the

St. Augustine: Interpreting God's Call

1554 words - 6 pages People interpret the Bible differently when they read it. In modern times, the bible is mostly interpreted according to the foundation of the Christian beliefs. In ancient times, the only foundation to Christian beliefs was the Bible. Peoples' faith revolved around the Bible, so most religious folk new the Bible very well. They were part of what is referred to as the Bible Culture. As part of this Bible culture, St. Augustine had a lot of

Reflection Confession of St. Augustine.

762 words - 3 pages St. Augustine uses his focus on the fact that God may exists in the same extent which wisdom and truth exists, which is as concepts or ideas in the mind but not reality. He shows that there is evidence of God but not a powerful creator. To Augustine, God exists but requires him to exist for the basis of his argument. St. Augustine focuses on memory as an unconscious knowledge, which eventually leads him to his knowledge of God. Augustine is no

Biography of Augustine the African

5148 words - 21 pages Biography of Augustine the African Augustine was born in Tagaste (modern Souk Ahras, Algeria) in 354 and died almost seventy-six years later in Hippo Regius (modern Annaba) on the Mediterranean coast sixty miles away. In the years between he lived out a career that seems to moderns to bridge the gap between ancient pagan Rome and the Christian middle ages. But to Augustine, as to his contemporaries, that gap separated real people and places

Comparing Thomas Hobbes and Augustine

819 words - 3 pages Compare how Hobbes and Augustine Think The Condition of War Arises and Defend One Author's Account of `ordinary' Morality As An Antedote For It      Augustine believes that the condition of war arises when the perfectly ordered and harmonious enjoyment of God is disrupted (The City of God, 690) whereas Hobbes believes that the original state of nature is a condition of constant war, which rational and self-motivated

Similar Essays

Saint Augustine Essay

865 words - 3 pages Saint Augustine was born on 354 CE in Tagaste, Africa. His given name was Aurelius Augustinus. His father was Patricius, a pagan who was baptized Christian before he died, and his mother was Monica, a baptized Christian with an influential role in the life of her son. Augustine is regarded as one of the most intelligent Christian theologians and bishops of all time. His works and actions have left a major imprint on the Church and its

Saint Augustine Essay

1501 words - 6 pages Many consider Saint Augustine of Hippo a main figure in the development of orthodox Christian doctrine during the early Christian Church. Augustine was born in Northern Africa in AD 354. His father was a pagan and his mother a Christian. Though his parents were not extremely well to do, they had enough money to allow Augustine to obtain an education in the liberal arts. This education will eventually affect how he sees Christianity

Augustine Confessions Essay

1293 words - 6 pages In Saint Augustine Confessions, Augustine talks about his conversion from Manichaeism to Christianity. He believes in order to become a wise individual; one must have a transformation of his mind inward and upward towards God. Augustine’s intellectual conversions that preceded his conversion to Christianity, made him recognize that the Manicheans were wrong. Manichees viewed God as a material thing, which is something that passes and is

Saint Augustine Essay

1610 words - 6 pages Saint Augustine Saint Augustine (354-430 AD), also known as Augustine of Hippo created an image of himself through his writings and teachings. He was born in Tagaste, a town in North Africa, on November 13, 354 AD. He was born into a middle class family. Patricius, his father, was a pagan, but later converted to Christianity because of his wife, Monica, was a devout Christian. Augustine’s mother, who was devoted to the Roman Catholic