To… Life overview Augustine was born in Tagaste, a modest Roman community in a river valley 40 miles 64 km from the Mediterranean coast in Africa, near the point where the veneer of Roman civilization thinned out in the highlands of Numidia.
Philosophy portal His infancy, and boyhood up to age Starting with his infancy, Saint Augustine reflects on his personal childhood in order to draw universal conclusions about the nature of infancy: Later, he reflects on choosing pleasure and reading secular literature over studying Scripture, choices which he later comes to understand as ones for which he deserved the punishment of his teachers, although he did not recognize that during his childhood.
Augustine continues to reflect on his adolescence during which he recounts two examples of his grave sins that he committed as a sixteen-year-old: In this book, he explores the question of why he and his friends stole pears when he had many better pears of his own.
He explains the feelings he experienced as he ate the pears and threw the rest away to the pigs. Augustine argues that he most likely would not have stolen anything had he not been in the company of others who could share in his sin.
He begins the study of rhetoric at Carthagewhere he develops a love of wisdom through his exposure to Cicero's Hortensius. He blames his pride for lacking faith in Scripture, so he finds a way to seek truth regarding good and evil through Manichaeism.
At the end of this book, his mother, Monica, dreams about her son's re-conversion to Catholic doctrine. Between the ages of 19 and 28, Augustine forms a relationship with an unnamed woman who, though faithful, is not his lawfully wedded wife, with whom he has a son.
At the same time that he returned to Tagaste, his hometown, to teach, a friend fell sick, was baptized in the Catholic Church, recovered slightly, then died.
The death of his friend depresses Augustine, who then reflects on the meaning of love of a friend in a mortal sense versus love of a friend in God; he concludes that his friend's death affected him severely because of his lack of love in God.
Things he used to love become hateful to him because everything reminds him of what was lost. Augustine then suggests that he began to love his life of sorrow more than his fallen friend. He closes this book with his reflection that he had attempted to find truth through the Manicheans and astrology, yet devout Church members, who he claims are far less intellectual and prideful, have found truth through greater faith in God.
While Saint Augustine is aged 29, he begins to lose faith in Manichean teachings, a process that starts when the Manichean bishop Faustus visits Carthage. Augustine is unimpressed with the substance of Manichaeism, but he has not yet found something to replace it.
He feels a sense of resigned acceptance to these fables as he has not yet formed a spiritual core to prove their falsity. He moves to teach in Rome where the education system is more disciplined.
He does not stay in Rome for long because his teaching is requested in Milan, where he encounters the bishop Ambrose Saint Ambrose. He appreciates Ambrose's style and attitude, and Ambrose exposes him to a more spiritual, figurative perspective of God, which leads him into a position as catechumen of the Church.
The sermons of Saint Ambrose draw Augustine closer to Catholicism, which he begins to favor over other philosophical options.
In this section his personal troubles, including ambition, continue, at which point he compares a beggar, whose drunkenness is "temporal happiness," with his hitherto failure at discovering happiness.
Monica returns at the end of this book and arranges a marriage for Augustine, who separates from his previous wife, finds a new mistress, and deems himself to be a "slave of lust.
He finds fault with this thought, however, because he thinks that they understand the nature of God without accepting Christ as a mediator between humans and God.
He reinforces his opinion of the Neoplatonists through the likeness of a mountain top: While reflecting in a garden, Augustine hears a child's voice chanting "take up and read. His friend Alypius follows his example.
In preparation for his baptism, Augustine concludes his teaching of rhetoric. Saint Ambrose baptizes Augustine along with Adeodatus and Alypius. Upon his return to his mother in Africa, they share in a religious vision in Ostia.The Two Visions of St. Augustine A common thread of faith and reason runs through the two different theological visions of St.
Augustine in his Confessions. This can be seen by comparing the ascent, the vision, the descent, and language in the two visions. In the first vision, Augustine makes his ascent by reason, seen through words like, "my thoughts," "the power of reason," and "bodily sense." In the second vision, Augustine and his mother, Monica, make the ascent by the power of love.
Structurally, the Confessions falls into three segments: Books 1 through 9 recount Augustine's life and his spiritual journey. Book 10 is a discussion of the nature of memory and an examination of the temptations Augustine was still facing.
A common thread of faith and reason runs through the two different theological visions of St. Augustine in his Confessions.
This can be seen by comparing the ascent, the vision, the descent, and language in the two visions. St. Augustine, also called Saint Augustine of Hippo, original Latin name Aurelius Augustinus, (born November 13, , Tagaste, Numidia [now Souk Ahras, Algeria]—died August 28, , Hippo Regius [now Annaba, Algeria]; feast day August 28), bishop of Hippo from to , one of the Latin Fathers of the Church and perhaps the most .
Because Augustine begins each book with a prayer, Albert C. Outler, a Professor of Theology at Southern Methodist University, argues that Confessions is a "pilgrimage of grace [ ] [a] retrac[ing] [of] the crucial turnings of the way by which [Augustine] had come.