theo 206 - Q1 Notion of Original Sin in Augustine of Hippo...

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Q1 Notion of Original Sin in Augustine of Hippo & notion of freewill. Saint Augustine of Hippo was a bishop from 396 to 430 AD. He contributed immensely to Christianity and helped further develop the religion. His like was out of the ordinary where he gave up his education to find the universal truth. In doing so he went through many philosophies such as Manichaeism and Neo Platonism which helped in his realization that Christianity was the answer to his prayers. Augustine was born in 354 AD and his mother was a Christian as was his father who was later baptized in his death bed. It was much safer to practice Christianity after the Emperors Constantine and Licinious issues the Edict of Milan in 313 AD which marked the end of the great persecution which started in 303 by then Emperor Diocletian. Many “devoted” followers of Christ were killed for their faith in Christ. Also, many turned their backs on their faith because of the pressures of potential persecution. These people wanted to go back to the church but there was a growing debate about them. This debate was brought up from a movement called Donatism which claims that people in the church is only for the pure and the saints. After Augustine had found Christianity, going through a complicated spiritual journey, he had an answer to this movement. The young Augustine received a classical education and had a passion to pursue a higher education to become a master in Rhetoric. A master in Rhetoric is something along the lines of a lawyer who is very well spoken. Augustine, later on, taught his pupils how to speak efficiently as he became a professor of Rhetoric. As Augustine was growing up, his mother Monica, who was later declared a Saint, tried and wept about getting Augustine to convert to Christianity. However, Augustine was disinterested in his mother’s church because he did not find the idea of Adam and Eve appealing and later admitted in his confessions that there were incompatibilities about Jesus Christ in Luke and Matthew. Furthermore, Augustine struggled immensely with his sexuality. He wrote in his confessions that he was often giving into lust. At the age of 17, he had a mistress who bore him a son named Adeodatus, which in Greek translates to gift of God. Augustine’s mother again tried to have the couple be married under her church and to be baptized but that did not work out. In Augustine’s confessions, not much was written about his mistress and there is a theory that she left Augustine to become a nun and sought an ascetical life. The young Augustine later became increasingly troubled and kept questioning why he kept giving in to his temptations for women even though he knew it was wrong. This is when Augustine came across the works of Cicero. This is where Augustine began his passionate quest to seek the truth about wisdom and to find an answer to his biggest weakness.
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  • Fall '10
  • Dr.LucianTurcescu
  • Confessions, Constantine I, young Augustine, Great Persecution

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