The Confessions of St. Assignment The main ideas in the Confessions Books 2 and 3, which characterize the moral philosophies upheld by St Augustine are his rebuke and refute of the Manichean religion, which he had been a follower for some years. This is because of the contrary belief to Christianity held by the Manichean religion that God is not omnipotent. He also engages in discourses on issues of sexual morality such as fornication during his day.
Augustine responded to the shock and dismay his contemporaries experienced with the collapse… Even then, approaching his 60th year, Augustine found—or manufactured—a last great challenge for himself. Taking offense at the implications of the teachings of a traveling society preacher named PelagiusAugustine gradually worked himself up to a polemical fever over ideas that Pelagius may or may not have espoused.
Other churchmen of the time were perplexed and reacted with some caution to Augustine, but he persisted, even reviving the battle against austere monks and dignified bishops through the s.
At the time of his death, he was at work on a vast and shapeless attack on the last and most urbane of his opponents, the Italian bishop Julian of Eclanum. Through these years, Augustine had carefully built for himself a reputation as a writer throughout Africa and beyond.
His careful cultivation of selected correspondents had made his name known in GaulSpainItalyand the Middle Eastand his books were widely circulated throughout the Mediterranean world. In his last years he compiled a careful catalog of his books, annotating them with bristling defensiveness to deter charges of inconsistency.
He had opponents, many of them heated in their attacks on him, but he usually retained their respect by the power and effectiveness of his writing. His fame notwithstanding, Augustine died a failure.
When he was a young man, it was inconceivable that the Pax Romana could fall, but in his last year he found himself and his fellow citizens of Hippo prisoners to a siege laid by a motley army of invaders who had swept into Africa across the Strait of Gibraltar.
The Vandals, holders to a more fiercely particularist version of the Christian creed than any of those Augustine had lived with in Africa, would rule in Africa for a century, until Roman forces sent from Constantinople invaded again and overthrew their regime.
A revival of orthodox Christianity in the 6th century under the patronage of Constantinople was brought to an end in the 7th century with the Islamic invasions that permanently removed North Africa from the sphere of Christian influence until the thin Christianization of French colonialism in the 19th century.
Augustine survived in his books. His habit of cataloging them served his surviving collaborators well. The story was told that his mortal remains went to Sardinia and thence to Pavia Italywhere a shrine concentrates reverence on what is said to be those remains.
The story of his early life is exceedingly well known—better known than that of virtually any other Greek or Roman worthy. Yet it is a story told with a sophisticated purpose, highly selective in its choice of incident and theological in its structure.
The goal of the book was ultimately self-justification and self-creation. He dated this experience to his time in Milan, and in relation to this he explained his ensuing career. But contemporaries found it odd to single out that particular moment—when he was conveniently away from Africa and from any scrutiny of his motives and actions—in a life that was not always as he seemed to narrate it.
Augustine was always dutiful and restrained. Neither he nor any of his modern biographers has yet succeeded in getting at the essence of his personality. The hostages he left to psychobiography in Confessions have not made it any easier for modern readers to find him.
In an odd way, the Freudian readings of Augustine common in the 20th century shared with him an emphasis on the selected emotional high points he chose to narrate and so were captives of his own storytelling.
Neither was particularly devout, but Monnica became more demonstratively religious in her widowhood and is venerated as St. Augustine was enrolled as a pre-baptismal candidate in the Christian church as a young child, and at various points in his life he considered baptism but deferred out of prudence.
In that age, before the prevalence of infant baptism, it was common for baptism to be delayed until the hour of death and then used to wash away a lifetime of sins. His classical education was supplemented by a curious but dismissive reading of the Christian Scriptures, but he then fell in with the Manichaeansenjoying their company and their polemics, in which he took eager part, for most of a decade.
He sheltered himself with them and used them for political influence even after he claimed to have dissociated himself from their beliefs. He abandoned them when he found himself in Milan.
It was there, where St. Ambrose was making a name for himself as a champion of orthodoxy, that Augustine found orthodoxy—or at least found orthodoxy satisfactory as something a gentleman could practice.
When Augustine accepted baptism at the hands of Ambrose inthereby joining the religion of his mother to the cultural practices of his father, he managed to make it a Christianity of his own.
To some extent influenced by Ambrose but few others influenced by Ambrose went in the same directionAugustine made his Christianity into a rival to and replacement for the austerity of ancient philosophers. Reading Platonic texts and correctly understanding some of their doctrine, Augustine decided for himself that Christianity was possible only if he went further than any churchman said he was required to go.
He chose to remain celibate even though he was a layman and under no requirement to do so. His life with a succession of lovers ended. Augustine accepted sexual abstinence as the price of religion.
After a long winter in retirement from the temptations of the city, he presented himself to Ambrose for baptism, then slipped away from Milan to pursue a singularly private life for the next four years.Augustine goes on to end his fourth book like he always ends his other books with praise to God in guiding him in everything he does.
Augustine’s fifth book . The remainder of his years would be spent immersed in the affairs and controversies of the Church into which he had been recently baptized, a Church that henceforth provided for Augustine the crucial nexus of relations that his family and friends had once been.
In my opinion I feel as if Augustine’s Confessions is still very much relevant and timeless in today’s world in the aspect of religion and spirituality, morality, and love. In Confessions Augustine undergoes a transition from his original view on religion to a different view.
. Augustine is extremely thankful for having been given the opportunity to live with God. Augustine uses love as his gate to God s grace. Throughout The Confessions, love and wisdom, the desire to love and be loved, and his love for his concubine, are all driving forces for Augustine s desire to find peace in God.
In Augustine’s Confessions, he confesses many things of which we are all guilty; the greatest of which is his sadness of not having a relationship with God earlier in his life.
He expressed to us that to neglect a relationship with God is far worse than the pity he felt for Dido. Language is an important topic in the Confessions. What issues revolve around the use and abuse of language for Augustine?
What are the values and shortcomings of language? How do these issues impact Augustine as an author? 6.
Examine Augustine's statements about free will in the Confessions.