The Two Forms Of Love In The City Of God By St. Augustine

1750 words - 7 pages

The City of God
“Accordingly, two cities have been formed by two loves: the earthly by the love of self, even to the contempt of God; the heavenly by the love of God, even to the contempt of self. The former, in a word, glories in itself, the latter in the Lord.” (14.28) Love, in a present-day definition is normally a good thing. According to the brilliant St. Augustine, that would depend on the nature of the love in understanding. In his book, The City of God, Augustine skillfully drew upon two loves: on one hand, a love which is holy: agape, unselfish love, and on the other hand a love which is unholy: distorted love of self; selfishness. Augustine identifies with unselfish love, which is holy love, the love of God, and following God’s rules according to the bible. As contrasted to its opposite, love of self is to the point of contempt of God and neighbor in which these two loves conflict. In this essay, I will give a brief background of the author; I will be discussing the topic of love in The City of God, but more specifically, Augustine’s perception of self-love.
Saint Augustine of Hippo was born on November 13, 354, in the town of Thagaste, which is now located in Algeria. His father was a pagan who converted on his death bed, and his mother was Saint Monica, whom was a devout Christian. In 370, he went to the University at Carthage to study rhetoric and wanted to become a lawyer. He gave up on law, and later on abandoned his Christian faith. He had a mistress with who he lived with for fifteen years and he had a son out of wedlock as well. He later, returned to his Christian faith, and on the death of his mother he returned to Africa, sold his property, gave all of his income to the poor, and founded a monastery at Tagaste. He was ordained in 390 and moved to Hippo where he established a community with several of his friends who had followed him. Five years later he was consecrated Bishop and made coadjutor to Valerius, Bishop of Hippo, whom he succeeded in the following year. St. Augustine began writing the City of God as a justification against the people who blamed the Christians and Christianity for the fall of Rome. Augustine framed this idea in terms of an ongoing strife between two societies: the heavenly city, or city of God. The city of God consists of the elect among humanity and of the holy angels, while the "city of men, or the earthly city, is made up of all those angels and humans who are completely against God. The two are categorized by their individual loves, whether it is love of God or love of self-distancing oneself from God.
Unholy love or “earthly love” is analyzed by Augustine in different ways. By means of “unholy love”, it can be interpreted as self-love. First, it’s true that he discusses love of self in a critical way. In this context, self-love and egotism are closely linked, “For man can relate only destructively to himself when he holds God’s will in contempt, and so it is that he learns to tell the...

Find Another Essay On The Two Forms of Love in the City of God by St. Augustine

St. Augustine in the Dante's Inferno

1166 words - 5 pages vestibule of hell. However, I believe that his carnal desires filled an equal portion of his life and were the cause of many of his hardships. Since this is the stronger of the two main sins committed by Augustine, opportunity and carnal desire, I am forced to place him in circle two.Works CitedAlighieri, Dante. The Divine Comedy. translator John Ciardi /Norton. 1286-1423.Augustine, Aurelius. Confessions. translator F. J. Sheed /Norton. 982-1008.The

The essay is about The Saint Augustine Confessions, by (big Shocker) St. Augustine. It is a literary analysis of a passage.

1735 words - 7 pages God of the Christians must therefore have been made of matter, thus rendering Him evil, which would mean that He was not the one true God. At the time, Augustine had held that belief to be true; now, in retrospect, he humbles himself to God by admitting that not only is God a vast and incomprehensibly powerful entity capable of embodying both sides of a paradox, but submissively admits also that God is the one true God.Eventually, Augustine

Origin of Evil in The Confessions by Augustine

913 words - 4 pages explained by Augustine (maybe because the people of Augustine’s time already knew about the Manicheans). The texts glossary explains the allusion by explaining that the Manicheans attributed evil to an evil force (Satan) that is in combat with God (Confessions 330). This evil is thought to have elements which are also evil and in one of these, the human body was included, meaning humans are inherently evil (Confessions Glossary. 330). The inherent

Two Forms of the Generalized Uncertainty Principle

1937 words - 8 pages Various theories of quantum gravity predict the existence of a minimum length scale, which leads to the modification of the standard uncertainty principle to the Generalized Uncertainty Principle (GUP). In this paper, we study two forms of the GUP and calculate their implications on the energy of the harmonic oscillator and the Hydrogen atom more accurately than previous studies. In addition, we show how the GUP modifies the Lorentz force law

Reflection Confession of St. Augustine.

762 words - 3 pages that the search for God is still an interior search.Theological anthroplogy is the statement of understand both God and understand what is to be human. An open question, what is it to be human is in a sense that every actions of an individual and the communities determine what we as humans and the world is like. The only way to answer the questions can only be deteremined by what will happen to the world because of what we cause. In the relation to the discussions the ideas of St. Augustine and theological anthropology which is the concept of 'person'.

The Two Kinds of Evil According to Augustine

1679 words - 7 pages prevent the evil in our world but unwilling? If this were then case then he wouldn’t be benevolent. A Persian thinker, Mani, suggested that the answer to this question was a kind of duality between the good and evil. This pluralistic view of the good and evil in our world would suggest that God is not omnipotent, which is why Augustine would reject Mani’s Manichaeism philosophy. Augustine later says that there are two kinds of evils: Moral evil

Secularism: Eternally Growing Examines the ideal of secularism through the works: "Confessions", by St. Augustine, "The Canterbury Tales", by Chaucer, "The Prince", by Machiavelli, and Shakespear

2180 words - 9 pages Secularism: Eternally GrowingLiterature, like other forms of art, is in some instances a conduit for the expression of an individual's religious belief. One author, Saint Augustine of Hippo, took that expression a step further in his autobiography Confessions by transposing his core, idiosyncratic faith onto the government and political establishment of the State. This idea of theocracy, where God is the supreme civil ruler, is not without an

The Contributions of St. Augustine and Brigid of Kildare to Christianity

1328 words - 5 pages is unable to combine work, pleasure, and prayer. St. Augustine and Bridgid of Kildare founded several monasteries where the above three things were woven into each day. There were times for tending the fields, giving thanks to God, and relaxing. However, personal reflection has fallen by the wayside in today's cultured. Many people have forgotten about the fulfillment that solitude and prayer can bring to one's life. This is even true in my own

St. Agustine on the exitance of evil in a world created by a perfect and loving God.

2460 words - 10 pages the image Augustine had painted of him.In conclusion Augustine does an excellent job trying to align the Platonic higherarchy of goods to the Christian Doctrin. The two are almost compatible. Augustine fails however to make a coherent argument for the existence of evil in a world created by God. This failure is evident in Augustine's definition of free will and unchangeable, intermediate, and inferior goods.

Does Love Exist in The Heart of The City?

2644 words - 11 pages New York City, the city of love, right? Wait no, that’s Paris. CRAP. What is New York good for? Oh yeah, business. Everything in the city is related to business. Even love in the city is business. Jay-Z and Beyoncé may be a love story, but underneath it all the relationship works ultimately because they’re on the same level and they have the same standards of business. So I believe love is driven by motives. I know, the hypothesis IS cynical

Perception of God and Evil by Augustine of Hippo

676 words - 3 pages manifesting in two distinct ways; one, evil as imperfections, defects, or limitations in physical objects. These would manifest as illness, death, or pain. Secondly, evil would be revealed in people’s actions and deeds, especially when their souls were corrupted by vices such as greed, envy, pride, and lust (Mann 40). Augustine describes in Confessions how these perceptions of God and Evil posed a major inconsistency in his thinking. If God, as he

Similar Essays

St. Thomas Aquinas' First Two Ways In Proving The Existence Of God

2546 words - 10 pages It is my view that God exists, and I think that Aquinas' first two ways presents a successful argument for the existence of God. No doubt, the arguments have weak points, which are subjected to criticism but nonetheless, in my opinion, these propositions by Aquinas do indeed accomplish their purpose in establishing the existence of a Greatest Conceivable Being that is the unmoved mover and uncaused cause. I believe that this ultimate Being is

The Life Of St. Augustine Of Hippo

1037 words - 5 pages . Augustine successfully was able to combine his two largest fascinations in life to create a beautiful, thoughtful, and poetic repertoire of novels and quotes. Speaking on the wonders of the human experience, St. Augustine said: “Men go abroad to wonder at the heights of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motions of the stars, and yet they pass by themselves

St. Augustine As The True Heir Of Plato

1414 words - 6 pages Aristotle and St. Augustine have both been influenced by Plato. Their philosophy on morality, politics, and the purpose of life has been platonically influenced. St. Augustine is the true heir of Plato because he has taken Plato’s ideal state, and revealed the implications of the lives that the citizens of the earthly city lead, in the City of God. Plato’s state is an ideal state, that would not function in reality. St. Augustine has taken

The Governments And States Of Locke, Aquinas, And St. Augustine

1357 words - 5 pages In John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government, he identifies a government that is of the peoples consent with his essential raison d΄être being the preservation and protection of personal property. This type of government is extremely comparable with the type of government that St. Augustine describes in his work City of God, while at the same time contrasts the views of Aquinas in the ways a state should operate. The end goal of how