Augustine - Augustine Christian Thinker Influential in the...

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Unformatted text preview: Augustine: - Christian Thinker- Influential in the west and a modern thinker- Immensely modern thinker, ideas have worked their way into the modern, secular context. - A break from the past and a bridge to modernity- First really modern thinker o Shift begins to take place in Early Christianity- City of God is the first attempt by a Christian thinker to give a systematic account of what Christianity really is- First accounting of Christianity by a Christian, written in the 4 th century AD. - Almost philosophical account of Christianity, written between 413 and 426 AD. - Wrote it while he was a priest in North Africa- Gives us a theory of human nature, theory of history, tackles a series of theological problems o Origin of evil What is evil and where does it come from o Problem of sin o Question of free will- Christian religion was being adopted by the Roman Empire; becoming a major force and no longer persecuted- Church is becoming increasing implicated in the politics of the day. Augustine is taking up this issue- specifically to defend Christianity from the charge that it has brought about Romes downfall. Against the idea that its responsible for Romes weakness. - Had to prove that it was not a religion of other worldliness. That it was not a danger. Defend against the charge that it was creating a people who did not care about this world. - Another reason he wrote the book, he wants to argue that life in this world is transitory. Arguing that of course Rome fell, it had to fall, every city has to fall. - Augustine recognizes the impermanence of this life. Wants to suggest that there is another life, another city in which permanence exists. States that the City of God is such a place. That there are cities of Man, which will eventually fall or change, but the city of God will not. - Synthesizing different trends o Taking up the philosophical tradition Rational, logical argument is such that considers valid and he puts it to work in the city of God. Takes the tools of philosophy and applies it to Christianity o Tradition of faith and inwardness o Want to combine the passion of faith with the rigor of philosophy - Neo-Platoionist: chose Plato over Aristotle and adopted a Platonic framework in which to view Christianity. Substitute Platos Good with the Christian God. Looks a lot like the stoics in that there is the idea of two different planes or worlds. Very pessimistic and dark work. - Was an emotionally intense man. Brought forth in this text. Struggles with the difficult ideas of Christianity. Ones that are rooted in faith but he tries to give a rational element to. - Origin of his pessimism: Christianity has a strongly pessimistic strand in it....
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Augustine - Augustine Christian Thinker Influential in the...

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