Augustine of Hippo

Augustine of Hippo

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Augustine of Hippo'
Start a new discussion about 'Augustine of Hippo'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Augustine of Hippo (November 13, 354 – August 28, 430), also known as Augustine, St. Augustine, St. Austin, St. Augoustinos, Blessed Augustine, or St. Augustine the Blessed, was Bishop
Bishop
A bishop is an ordained or consecrated member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox Churches, in the Assyrian Church of the East, in the Independent Catholic Churches, and in the...

 of Hippo Regius
Hippo Regius
Hippo Regius is the ancient name of the modern city of Annaba, in Algeria. Under this name, it was a major city in Roman Africa, hosting several early Christian councils, and was the home of the philosopher and theologian Augustine of Hippo...

 (present-day Annaba
Annaba
Annaba is a city in the northeastern corner of Algeria near the river Seybouse. It is located in Annaba Province. With a population of 257,359 , it is the fourth largest city in Algeria. It is a leading industrial centre in eastern Algeria....

, Algeria). He was a Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

-speaking philosopher and theologian who lived in the Roman
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

 Africa Province
Africa Province
The Roman province of Africa was established after the Romans defeated Carthage in the Third Punic War. It roughly comprised the territory of present-day northern Tunisia, and the small Mediterranean coast of modern-day western Libya along the Syrtis Minor...

. His writings were very influential in the development of Western Christianity
Western Christianity
Western Christianity is a term used to include the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church and groups historically derivative thereof, including the churches of the Anglican and Protestant traditions, which share common attributes that can be traced back to their medieval heritage...

.

According to his contemporary, Jerome
Jerome
Saint Jerome was a Roman Christian priest, confessor, theologian and historian, and who became a Doctor of the Church. He was the son of Eusebius, of the city of Stridon, which was on the border of Dalmatia and Pannonia...

, Augustine "established anew the ancient Faith." In his early years he was heavily influenced by Manichaeism
Manichaeism
Manichaeism in Modern Persian Āyin e Māni; ) was one of the major Iranian Gnostic religions, originating in Sassanid Persia.Although most of the original writings of the founding prophet Mani have been lost, numerous translations and fragmentary texts have survived...

 and afterward by the Neo-Platonism of Plotinus
Plotinus
Plotinus was a major philosopher of the ancient world. In his system of theory there are the three principles: the One, the Intellect, and the Soul. His teacher was Ammonius Saccas and he is of the Platonic tradition...

. After his conversion to Christianity and baptism in AD 387, Augustine developed his own approach to philosophy and theology, accommodating a variety of methods and different perspectives. He believed that the grace of Christ was indispensable to human freedom, and he framed the concepts of original sin
Original sin
Original sin is, according to a Christian theological doctrine, humanity's state of sin resulting from the Fall of Man. This condition has been characterized in many ways, ranging from something as insignificant as a slight deficiency, or a tendency toward sin yet without collective guilt, referred...

 and just war
Just War
Just war theory is a doctrine of military ethics of Roman philosophical and Catholic origin, studied by moral theologians, ethicists and international policy makers, which holds that a conflict ought to meet philosophical, religious or political criteria.-Origins:The concept of justification for...

.

When the Western Roman Empire
Western Roman Empire
The Western Roman Empire was the western half of the Roman Empire after its division by Diocletian in 285; the other half of the Roman Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire, commonly referred to today as the Byzantine Empire....

 was starting to disintegrate, Augustine developed the concept of the Church as a spiritual City of God (in a book of the same name), distinct from the material Earthly City. His thoughts profoundly influenced the medieval worldview. Augustine's City of God was closely identified with the church, the community that worshipped God
Trinity
The Christian doctrine of the Trinity defines God as three divine persons : the Father, the Son , and the Holy Spirit. The three persons are distinct yet coexist in unity, and are co-equal, co-eternal and consubstantial . Put another way, the three persons of the Trinity are of one being...

.

In the Catholic Church
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 and the Anglican Communion
Anglican Communion
The Anglican Communion is an international association of national and regional Anglican churches in full communion with the Church of England and specifically with its principal primate, the Archbishop of Canterbury...

, he is a saint and pre-eminent Doctor of the Church
Doctor of the Church
Doctor of the Church is a title given by a variety of Christian churches to individuals whom they recognize as having been of particular importance, particularly regarding their contribution to theology or doctrine.-Catholic Church:In the Catholic Church, this name is given to a saint from whose...

, and the patron of the Augustinian religious order
Augustinians
The term Augustinians, named after Saint Augustine of Hippo , applies to two separate and unrelated types of Catholic religious orders:...

; his memorial is celebrated 28 August, the day of his death. He is the patron saint of brewers, printers, theologians, the alleviation of sore eyes, and a number of cities and dioceses. Many Protestants
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

, especially Calvinists
Calvinism
Calvinism is a Protestant theological system and an approach to the Christian life...

, consider him to be one of the theological fathers of Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

 due to his teaching on salvation
Salvation
Within religion salvation is the phenomenon of being saved from the undesirable condition of bondage or suffering experienced by the psyche or soul that has arisen as a result of unskillful or immoral actions generically referred to as sins. Salvation may also be called "deliverance" or...

 and divine grace
Divine grace
In Christian theology, grace is God’s gift of God’s self to humankind. It is understood by Christians to be a spontaneous gift from God to man - "generous, free and totally unexpected and undeserved" - that takes the form of divine favour, love and clemency. It is an attribute of God that is most...

. In the Eastern Orthodox Church
Eastern Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church and commonly referred to as the Eastern Orthodox Church, is the second largest Christian denomination in the world, with an estimated 300 million adherents mainly in the countries of Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece,...

 he is blessed, and his feast day is celebrated on 15 June. Among the Orthodox, he is called "Blessed Augustine", or "St. Augustine the Blessed".

Early childhood



Augustine was born in 354 in the municipium
Municipium
Municipium , the prototype of English municipality, was the Latin term for a town or city. Etymologically the municipium was a social contract between municipes, the "duty holders," or citizens of the town. The duties, or munera, were a communal obligation assumed by the municipes in exchange for...

 of Thagaste (now Souk Ahras
Souk Ahras
Souk Ahras is a province in Algeria, named after its capital, Souk Ahras. It stands on the border between Algeria and Tunisia.- Geography :Souk Ahras is situated in the extreme north east of Algeria, it is 4360 km²....

, Algeria
Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

) in Roman Africa. His father, Patricius, was a pagan, and his mother, Monica
Saint Monica
Saint Monica may refer to:*Saint Monica, a Christian saint and mother of Saint Augustine*Saint Monica , a 2002 Canadian film...

, was Christian. Scholars believe that Augustine's ancestors included Berbers, Latins and Phoenicians. Augustine's family name, Aurelius, suggests that his father's ancestors were freedmen of the gens Aurelia. Augustine's family had been Roman, from a legal standpoint, for at least a century when he was born. It is assumed that his mother, Monica, was of Berber
Berber people
Berbers are the indigenous peoples of North Africa west of the Nile Valley. They are continuously distributed from the Atlantic to the Siwa oasis, in Egypt, and from the Mediterranean to the Niger River. Historically they spoke the Berber language or varieties of it, which together form a branch...

 origin, on the basis of her name, but as his family were honestiores, Augustine's first language is likely to have been Latin. At the age of 11, Augustine was sent to school at Madaurus (now M'Daourouch), a small Numidia
Numidia
Numidia was an ancient Berber kingdom in part of present-day Eastern Algeria and Western Tunisia in North Africa. It is known today as the Chawi-land, the land of the Chawi people , the direct descendants of the historical Numidians or the Massyles The kingdom began as a sovereign state and later...

n city about 19 miles south of Thagaste. There he became familiar with Latin literature
Latin literature
Latin literature includes the essays, histories, poems, plays, and other writings of the ancient Romans. In many ways, it seems to be a continuation of Greek literature, using many of the same forms...

, as well as pagan beliefs and practices. While at home in 369 and 370, he read Cicero
Cicero
Marcus Tullius Cicero , was a Roman philosopher, statesman, lawyer, political theorist, and Roman constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the equestrian order, and is widely considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists.He introduced the Romans to the chief...

's dialogue
Dialogue
Dialogue is a literary and theatrical form consisting of a written or spoken conversational exchange between two or more people....

 Hortensius (now lost), which he described as leaving a lasting impression on him and sparking his interest in philosophy.

Studying at Carthage


At age 17, through the generosity of fellow citizen Romanianus, Augustine went to Carthage
Carthage
Carthage , implying it was a 'new Tyre') is a major urban centre that has existed for nearly 3,000 years on the Gulf of Tunis, developing from a Phoenician colony of the 1st millennium BC...

 to continue his education in rhetoric
Rhetoric
Rhetoric is the art of discourse, an art that aims to improve the facility of speakers or writers who attempt to inform, persuade, or motivate particular audiences in specific situations. As a subject of formal study and a productive civic practice, rhetoric has played a central role in the Western...

. Although raised as a Christian, Augustine left the church to follow the Manichaean religion
Manichaeism
Manichaeism in Modern Persian Āyin e Māni; ) was one of the major Iranian Gnostic religions, originating in Sassanid Persia.Although most of the original writings of the founding prophet Mani have been lost, numerous translations and fragmentary texts have survived...

, much to the despair of his mother, Monica. As a youth Augustine lived a hedonistic
Hedonism
Hedonism is a school of thought which argues that pleasure is the only intrinsic good. In very simple terms, a hedonist strives to maximize net pleasure .-Etymology:The name derives from the Greek word for "delight" ....

 lifestyle for a time, associating with young men who boasted of their sexual exploits with women and urged the inexperienced boys, like Augustine, to seek out experiences or to make up stories about experiences in order to gain acceptance and avoid ridicule. It was during this period that he uttered his famous prayer, "Grant me chastity
Chastity
Chastity refers to the sexual behavior of a man or woman acceptable to the moral standards and guidelines of a culture, civilization, or religion....

 and continence, but not yet" (da mihi castitatem et continentiam, sed noli modo). At a young age, he began an affair with a young woman in Carthage. She was his lover for over thirteen years and gave birth to his son Adeodatus.

Teaching rhetoric


During the years 373 and 374, Augustine taught grammar at Thagaste. The following year he moved to Carthage to conduct a school of rhetoric, and would remain there for the next nine years. Disturbed by the unruly behavior of the students in Carthage, in 383 he moved to establish a school in Rome, where he believed the best and brightest rhetoricians practiced. However, Augustine was disappointed with the Roman schools, where he was met with apathy. Once the time came for his students to pay their fees they simply fled. Manichaean friends introduced him to the prefect of the City of Rome, Symmachus
Quintus Aurelius Symmachus
Quintus Aurelius Symmachus was a Roman statesman, orator, and man of letters. He held the offices of governor of Africa in 373, urban prefect of Rome in 384 and 385, and consul in 391...

, who had been asked to provide a professor of rhetoric for the imperial court at Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

.
Augustine won the job and headed north to take up his position in late 384. At the age of thirty, he had won the most visible academic position in the Latin world – at a time when such posts gave ready access to political careers. During this period, although Augustine showed some fervor for Manichaeism, he was never an initiate or "elect" but remained an "auditor", the lowest level in the sect's hierarchy.

While he was in Milan, Augustine's life changed. While still at Carthage, he had begun to move away from Manichaeism, in part because of a disappointing meeting with the Manichean Bishop, Faustus of Mileve, a key exponent of Manichaean theology. In Rome, he is reported to have completely turned away from Manichaeanism, and instead embraced the skepticism
Philosophical skepticism
Philosophical skepticism is both a philosophical school of thought and a method that crosses disciplines and cultures. Many skeptics critically examine the meaning systems of their times, and this examination often results in a position of ambiguity or doubt...

 of the New Academy movement. At Milan, his mother pressured him to become a Christian. Augustine's own studies in Neoplatonism
Neoplatonism
Neoplatonism , is the modern term for a school of religious and mystical philosophy that took shape in the 3rd century AD, based on the teachings of Plato and earlier Platonists, with its earliest contributor believed to be Plotinus, and his teacher Ammonius Saccas...

 were also leading him in this direction, and his friend Simplicianus urged him that way as well. But it was the bishop of Milan, Ambrose
Ambrose
Aurelius Ambrosius, better known in English as Saint Ambrose , was a bishop of Milan who became one of the most influential ecclesiastical figures of the 4th century. He was one of the four original doctors of the Church.-Political career:Ambrose was born into a Roman Christian family between about...

, who had most influence over Augustine. Ambrose was a master of rhetoric like Augustine himself, but older and more experienced.

Augustine's mother had followed him to Milan and he allowed her to arrange a society marriage, for which he abandoned his concubine. It is believed that Augustine truly loved the woman he had lived with for so long. In his "Confessions," he expressed how deeply he was hurt by ending this relationship, and also admitted that the experience eventually produced a decreased sensitivity to pain over time. However, he had to wait two years until his fiancee came of age, so despite the grief he felt over leaving "The One", as he called her, he soon took another concubine. Augustine eventually broke off his engagement to his eleven-year-old fiancee, but never renewed his relationship with "The One" and soon left his second concubine.

It was because of otium
Otium
Otium, a Latin abstract term, has a variety of meanings, including leisure time in which a person can enjoy eating, playing, resting, contemplation and academic endeavors. It sometimes, but not always, relates to a time in a person's retirement after previous service to the public or private...

 that Alypius of Thagaste
Alypius of Thagaste
Saint Alypius of Thagaste was bishop of the see of Tagaste in 394. He is also credited with building the first monastery in Africa. He was a lifelong friend of Saint Augustine of Hippo and joined him in his conversion and life in Christianity. He came from an aristrocratic family and his early...

 steered Augustine away from marriage. He said that they could not live a life together in the love of wisdom if he married. Augustine looked back years later on the life at Cassiciacum, a villa outside of Milan where he gathered with his followers, and described it as Christianae vita otium - the Christian life of leisure. Augustine had been awarded a job of professor of rhetoric in Milan at the time he was living at Cassiciacum around A.D. 383. In 388 he returned to Africa and his home country and pursued a life of aristocratic otium at his family's property. In 391 he was ordained bishop of Hippo Regius
Hippo Regius
Hippo Regius is the ancient name of the modern city of Annaba, in Algeria. Under this name, it was a major city in Roman Africa, hosting several early Christian councils, and was the home of the philosopher and theologian Augustine of Hippo...

 (hence obtaining the name "Augustine of Hippo") and gave his property to the church of Thagaste.

Christian conversion


In the summer of 386, after having heard a the story of Placianus about he and his friends first reading of the life of Saint Anthony of the Desert
Anthony the Great
Anthony the Great or Antony the Great , , also known as Saint Anthony, Anthony the Abbot, Anthony of Egypt, Anthony of the Desert, Anthony the Anchorite, Abba Antonius , and Father of All Monks, was a Christian saint from Egypt, a prominent leader among the Desert Fathers...

, which greatly inspired him, Augustine underwent a profound personal crisis, leading him to convert to Christianity, abandon his career in rhetoric, quit his teaching position in Milan, give up any ideas of marriage, and devote himself entirely to serving God
God
God is the English name given to a singular being in theistic and deistic religions who is either the sole deity in monotheism, or a single deity in polytheism....

 and to the practices of priesthood, which included celibacy
Clerical celibacy
Clerical celibacy is the discipline by which some or all members of the clergy in certain religions are required to be unmarried. Since these religions consider deliberate sexual thoughts, feelings, and behavior outside of marriage to be sinful, clerical celibacy also requires abstension from these...

. According to Augustine his conversion was prompted by a childlike voice he heard telling him in a sing-song voice, "tolle, lege" ("take up and read"):
The volume Augustine read was Paul's Epistle to the Romans
Epistle to the Romans
The Epistle of Paul to the Romans, often shortened to Romans, is the sixth book in the New Testament. Biblical scholars agree that it was composed by the Apostle Paul to explain that Salvation is offered through the Gospel of Jesus Christ...

 (Romans 13: 13-14). He wrote an account of his conversion in his Confessions
Confessions (St. Augustine)
Confessions is the name of an autobiographical work, consisting of 13 books, by St. Augustine of Hippo, written between AD 397 and AD 398. Modern English translations of it are sometimes published under the title The Confessions of St...

, which became a classic of Christian theology. Ambrose baptized Augustine, along with his son, Adeodatus, on Easter Vigil
Easter Vigil
The Easter Vigil, also called the Paschal Vigil or the Great Vigil of Easter, is a service held in many Christian churches as the first official celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus. Historically, it is during this service that people are baptized and that adult catechumens are received into...

 in 387 in Milan, and a year later they returned to Africa. Also in 388 he completed his apology
Christian apologetics
Christian apologetics is a field of Christian theology that aims to present a rational basis for the Christian faith, defend the faith against objections, and expose the perceived flaws of other world views...

 On the Holiness of the Catholic Church. On the way back to Africa Augustine's mother Monica died, and Adeodatus soon after.

Priesthood


Upon his return to north Africa Augustine sold his patrimony and gave the money to the poor. The only thing he kept was the family house, which he converted into a monastic foundation for himself and a group of friends. In 391 he was ordained
Ordination
In general religious use, ordination is the process by which individuals are consecrated, that is, set apart as clergy to perform various religious rites and ceremonies. The process and ceremonies of ordination itself varies by religion and denomination. One who is in preparation for, or who is...

 a priest
Priest
A priest is a person authorized to perform the sacred rites of a religion, especially as a mediatory agent between humans and deities. They also have the authority or power to administer religious rites; in particular, rites of sacrifice to, and propitiation of, a deity or deities...

 in Hippo Regius
Hippo Regius
Hippo Regius is the ancient name of the modern city of Annaba, in Algeria. Under this name, it was a major city in Roman Africa, hosting several early Christian councils, and was the home of the philosopher and theologian Augustine of Hippo...

 (now Annaba
Annaba
Annaba is a city in the northeastern corner of Algeria near the river Seybouse. It is located in Annaba Province. With a population of 257,359 , it is the fourth largest city in Algeria. It is a leading industrial centre in eastern Algeria....

, in Algeria
Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

). He became a famous preacher
Preacher
Preacher is a term for someone who preaches sermons or gives homilies. A preacher is distinct from a theologian by focusing on the communication rather than the development of doctrine. Others see preaching and theology as being intertwined...

 (more than 350 preserved sermons are believed to be authentic), and was noted for combating the Manichaean religion, to which he had formerly adhered.

In 395 he was made coadjutor Bishop
Coadjutor bishop
A coadjutor bishop is a bishop in the Roman Catholic or Anglican churches who is designated to assist the diocesan bishop in the administration of the diocese, almost as co-bishop of the diocese...

 of Hippo, and became full Bishop shortly thereafter. He remained in this position until his death in 430. Augustine worked tirelessly in trying to convince the people of Hippo to convert to Christianity. He left his monastery, but continued to lead a monastic life in the episcopal residence. He left a regula his monastery that has led him to be designated the "patron saint
Patron saint
A patron saint is a saint who is regarded as the intercessor and advocate in heaven of a nation, place, craft, activity, class, clan, family, or person...

 of regular clergy
Regular clergy
Regular clergy, or just regulars, is applied in the Roman Catholic Church to clerics who follow a "rule" in their life. Strictly, it means those members of religious orders who have made solemn profession. It contrasts with secular clergy.-Terminology and history:The observance of the Rule of St...

"

Much of Augustine's later life was recorded by his friend Possidius, bishop of Calama
Calama (titular see)
Calama is a Catholic titular see of Africa, corresponding to modern Guelma, Algeria.- History :Calama appears to be the Roman name of Suthul, a city in Numidia, besieged by Postumius 110 BC. It became a Roman municipium as early as Hadrian, and a colony a little later.In the time of Diocletian it...

 (present-day Guelma
Guelma
Guelma is the capital of Guelma Province and Guelma District, located in northeastern Algeria, about 65 kilometers from the Mediterranean coast...

, Algeria), in his Sancti Augustini Vita. Possidius admired Augustine as a man of powerful intellect and a stirring orator who took every opportunity to defend Christianity against its detractors. Possidius also described Augustine's personal traits in detail, drawing a portrait of a man who ate sparingly, worked tirelessly, despised gossip, shunned the temptations of the flesh, and exercised prudence in the financial stewardship of his see.

Death


Shortly before Augustine's death, Roman Africa was invaded by the Vandals
Vandals
The Vandals were an East Germanic tribe that entered the late Roman Empire during the 5th century. The Vandals under king Genseric entered Africa in 429 and by 439 established a kingdom which included the Roman Africa province, besides the islands of Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia and the Balearics....

, a Germanic
Germanic peoples
The Germanic peoples are an Indo-European ethno-linguistic group of Northern European origin, identified by their use of the Indo-European Germanic languages which diversified out of Proto-Germanic during the Pre-Roman Iron Age.Originating about 1800 BCE from the Corded Ware Culture on the North...

 tribe that had converted to Arianism
Arianism
Arianism is the theological teaching attributed to Arius , a Christian presbyter from Alexandria, Egypt, concerning the relationship of the entities of the Trinity and the precise nature of the Son of God as being a subordinate entity to God the Father...

. The Vandals besieged Hippo in the spring of 430, when Augustine entered his final illness. According to Possidius one of the few miracles attributed to Augustine took place during the siege. While Augustine was confined to his sick bed, a man petitioned him that he might lay his hands upon a relative who was ill. Augustine replied that if he had any power to cure the sick, he would surely have applied it on himself first. The visitor declared that he was told in a dream to go to Augustine so that his relative would be made whole. When Augustine heard this, he no longer hesitated, but laid his hands upon the sick man, who departed from Augustine's presence healed.

Possidius also gives a first-hand account of Augustine's death, which occurred on August 28, 430, while Hippo was still besieged. Augustine spent his final days in prayer and repentance, requesting that the penitential Psalms of David
Psalms
The Book of Psalms , commonly referred to simply as Psalms, is a book of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Bible...

 be hung on his walls so that he could read them. He directed that the library of the church in Hippo and all the books therein should be carefully preserved. Shortly after his death the Vandals lifted the siege of Hippo, but they returned not long thereafter and burned the city. They destroyed all of it but Augustine's cathedral and library, which they left untouched.

According to Bede's
Bede
Bede , also referred to as Saint Bede or the Venerable Bede , was a monk at the Northumbrian monastery of Saint Peter at Monkwearmouth, today part of Sunderland, England, and of its companion monastery, Saint Paul's, in modern Jarrow , both in the Kingdom of Northumbria...

 True Martyrology, Augustine's body was later removed to Cagliari
Cagliari
Cagliari is the capital of the island of Sardinia, a region of Italy. Cagliari's Sardinian name Casteddu literally means castle. It has about 156,000 inhabitants, or about 480,000 including the outlying townships : Elmas, Assemini, Capoterra, Selargius, Sestu, Monserrato, Quartucciu, Quartu...

, Sardinia
Sardinia
Sardinia is the second-largest island in the Mediterranean Sea . It is an autonomous region of Italy, and the nearest land masses are the French island of Corsica, the Italian Peninsula, Sicily, Tunisia and the Spanish Balearic Islands.The name Sardinia is from the pre-Roman noun *sard[],...

 by the Catholic bishops expelled from North Africa by Huneric
Huneric
Huneric or Honeric was King of the Vandals and the oldest son of Genseric. He dropped the imperial politics of his father and concentrated mainly on internal affairs. He was married to Eudocia, daughter of western Roman Emperor Valentinian III and Licinia Eudoxia. She left him, probably in 472...

. Around 720 his remains were moved again by Peter, bishop of Pavia
Pavia
Pavia , the ancient Ticinum, is a town and comune of south-western Lombardy, northern Italy, 35 km south of Milan on the lower Ticino river near its confluence with the Po. It is the capital of the province of Pavia. It has a population of c. 71,000...

 and uncle of the Lombard king Liutprand
Liutprand, King of the Lombards
Liutprand was the King of the Lombards from 712 to 744 and is chiefly remembered for his Donation of Sutri, in 728, and his long reign, which brought him into a series of conflicts, mostly successful, with most of Italy. He profited by Byzantine weakness to enlarge his domains in Emilia and the...

, to the church of San Pietro in Ciel d'Oro
San Pietro in Ciel d'Oro
San Pietro in Ciel d'Oro is a Roman Catholic basilica of the Augustinians in Pavia, Italy, in the Lombardy region. Its name refers to the mosaics of gold leaf behind glass tesserae that formerly decorated the ceiling of the apse. The plain exterior is of brick, with sandstone quoins and window...

, in order to save them from frequent coastal raids by Moors
Moors
The description Moors has referred to several historic and modern populations of the Maghreb region who are predominately of Berber and Arab descent. They came to conquer and rule the Iberian Peninsula for nearly 800 years. At that time they were Muslim, although earlier the people had followed...

 and Berbers. In January 1327 Pope John XXII issued the papal bull Veneranda Santorum Patrum, in which he appointed the Augustinians
Augustinians
The term Augustinians, named after Saint Augustine of Hippo , applies to two separate and unrelated types of Catholic religious orders:...

 guardians of the tomb of Augustine, which was remade in 1362 and elaborately carved with bas-treliefs of scenes from Augustine's life. By that time, however, the actual remains of Augustine could not be authenticated. Stonemasons working in the crypt altar removed paving blocks and discovered a marble box. Within it were other boxes; in the third box were fragments of wood, numerous bones and bone fragments, and glass vials. Some of the workers later claimed to have seen the name "Augustine" written in charcoal on the top of the box. A factor complicating the authentication of the remains was that San Pietro was shared by two Augustinian religious orders in bitter rivalry. The Augustinians were expelled from Pavia in 1700, taking refuge in Milan
Milan
Milan is the second-largest city in Italy and the capital city of the region of Lombardy and of the province of Milan. The city proper has a population of about 1.3 million, while its urban area, roughly coinciding with its administrative province and the bordering Province of Monza and Brianza ,...

 with the relics of Augustine, and the disassembled Arca, which were removed to the cathedral there. San Pietro fell into disrepair and was a military magazine during the Napoleonic
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

 occupation of the city. It was finally rebuilt in the 1870s, under the urging of Agostino Gaetano Riboldi, and reconsecrated in 1896 when the relics of Augustine and the shrine were once again reinstalled.

Works



Augustine was one of the most prolific Latin authors in terms of surviving works, and the list of his works consists of more than a hundred separate titles. Please see a near-exhaustive list below. They include apologetic
Apologetics
Apologetics is the discipline of defending a position through the systematic use of reason. Early Christian writers Apologetics (from Greek ἀπολογία, "speaking in defense") is the discipline of defending a position (often religious) through the systematic use of reason. Early Christian writers...

 works against the heresies of the Arians
Arianism
Arianism is the theological teaching attributed to Arius , a Christian presbyter from Alexandria, Egypt, concerning the relationship of the entities of the Trinity and the precise nature of the Son of God as being a subordinate entity to God the Father...

, Donatists, Manichaeans and Pelagians, texts on Christian doctrine
Doctrine
Doctrine is a codification of beliefs or a body of teachings or instructions, taught principles or positions, as the body of teachings in a branch of knowledge or belief system...

, notably De Doctrina Christiana (On Christian Doctrine), exegetical
Exegesis
Exegesis is a critical explanation or interpretation of a text, especially a religious text. Traditionally the term was used primarily for exegesis of the Bible; however, in contemporary usage it has broadened to mean a critical explanation of any text, and the term "Biblical exegesis" is used...

 works such as commentaries on Book of Genesis, the Psalms
Psalms
The Book of Psalms , commonly referred to simply as Psalms, is a book of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Bible...

 and Paul's
Paul of Tarsus
Paul the Apostle , also known as Saul of Tarsus, is described in the Christian New Testament as one of the most influential early Christian missionaries, with the writings ascribed to him by the church forming a considerable portion of the New Testament...

 Letter to the Romans, many sermons and letters, and the Retractationes (Retractions), a review of his earlier works which he wrote near the end of his life. Apart from those, Augustine is probably best known for his Confessiones
Confessions (St. Augustine)
Confessions is the name of an autobiographical work, consisting of 13 books, by St. Augustine of Hippo, written between AD 397 and AD 398. Modern English translations of it are sometimes published under the title The Confessions of St...

 (Confessions), which is a personal account of his earlier life, and for De civitate dei (Of the City of God, consisting of 22 books), which he wrote to restore the confidence of his fellow Christians, which was badly shaken by the sack of Rome
Rome
Rome is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and comune, with over 2.7 million residents in . The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.Rome's history spans two and a half...

 by the Visigoths in 410. His De trinitate (On the Trinity), in which he developed what has become known as the 'psychological analogy' of the Trinity
Trinity
The Christian doctrine of the Trinity defines God as three divine persons : the Father, the Son , and the Holy Spirit. The three persons are distinct yet coexist in unity, and are co-equal, co-eternal and consubstantial . Put another way, the three persons of the Trinity are of one being...

, is also among his masterpieces, and arguably one of the greatest theological works of all time. He also wrote On Free Choice Of The Will (De libero arbitrio
De libero arbitrio
The De libero arbitrio is the popular title of various theological writings, foremostly:*De libero arbitrio of Augustine of Hippo;*De libero arbitrio of Anselm of Canterbury;...

), addressing why God gives humans free will that can be used for evil.

Influence as a theologian and thinker


Augustine was a bishop, priest, and father who remains a central figure, both within Christianity and in the history of Western thought, and is considered by modern historian Thomas Cahill
Thomas Cahill
Thomas Cahill is an American scholar and writer. He is best known for The Hinges of History series, a prospective seven-volume series in which the author recounts formative moments in Western civilization.-Biography:...

 to be the first medieval man and the last classical man. In both his philosophical and theological reasoning, he was greatly influenced by Stoicism
Stoicism
Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy founded in Athens by Zeno of Citium in the early . The Stoics taught that destructive emotions resulted from errors in judgment, and that a sage, or person of "moral and intellectual perfection," would not suffer such emotions.Stoics were concerned...

, Platonism
Platonism
Platonism is the philosophy of Plato or the name of other philosophical systems considered closely derived from it. In a narrower sense the term might indicate the doctrine of Platonic realism...

 and Neo-platonism, particularly by the work of Plotinus
Plotinus
Plotinus was a major philosopher of the ancient world. In his system of theory there are the three principles: the One, the Intellect, and the Soul. His teacher was Ammonius Saccas and he is of the Platonic tradition...

, author of the Enneads
Enneads
The Six Enneads, sometimes abbreviated to The Enneads or Enneads , is the collection of writings of Plotinus, edited and compiled by his student Porphyry . Plotinus was a student of Ammonius Saccas and they were founders of Neoplatonism...

, probably through the mediation of Porphyry
Porphyry (philosopher)
Porphyry of Tyre , Porphyrios, AD 234–c. 305) was a Neoplatonic philosopher who was born in Tyre. He edited and published the Enneads, the only collection of the work of his teacher Plotinus. He also wrote many works himself on a wide variety of topics...

 and Victorinus
Gaius Marius Victorinus
Gaius Marius Victorinus was a Roman grammarian, rhetorician and Neoplatonic philosopher. Victorinus was African by birth and experienced the height of his career during the reign of Constantius II...

 (as Pierre Hadot
Pierre Hadot
Pierre Hadot was a French philosopher and historian of philosophy specializing in ancient philosophy, particularly Neoplatonism. Hadot was ordained in 1944 but following Pope Pius XII's Encyclical "Humani Generis" left the priesthood...

 has argued). Although he later abandoned Neoplatonism some ideas are still visible in his early writings. His generally favourable view of Neoplatonic thought contributed to the "baptism" of Greek thought and its entrance into the Christian and subsequently the Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

an intellectual tradition. His early and influential writing on the human will
Will (philosophy)
Will, in philosophical discussions, consonant with a common English usage, refers to a property of the mind, and an attribute of acts intentionally performed. Actions made according to a person's will are called "willing" or "voluntary" and sometimes pejoratively "willful"...

, a central topic in ethics
Ethics
Ethics, also known as moral philosophy, is a branch of philosophy that addresses questions about morality—that is, concepts such as good and evil, right and wrong, virtue and vice, justice and crime, etc.Major branches of ethics include:...

, would become a focus for later philosophers such as Schopenhauer
Arthur Schopenhauer
Arthur Schopenhauer was a German philosopher known for his pessimism and philosophical clarity. At age 25, he published his doctoral dissertation, On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason, which examined the four separate manifestations of reason in the phenomenal...

, Kierkegaard
Søren Kierkegaard
Søren Aabye Kierkegaard was a Danish Christian philosopher, theologian and religious author. He was a critic of idealist intellectuals and philosophers of his time, such as Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling and Karl Wilhelm Friedrich Schlegel...

, and Nietzsche
Friedrich Nietzsche
Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche was a 19th-century German philosopher, poet, composer and classical philologist...

. In addition, Augustine was influenced by the works of Virgil
Virgil
Publius Vergilius Maro, usually called Virgil or Vergil in English , was an ancient Roman poet of the Augustan period. He is known for three major works of Latin literature, the Eclogues , the Georgics, and the epic Aeneid...

 (known for his teaching on language), Cicero
Cicero
Marcus Tullius Cicero , was a Roman philosopher, statesman, lawyer, political theorist, and Roman constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the equestrian order, and is widely considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists.He introduced the Romans to the chief...

 (known for his teaching on argument), and Aristotle
Aristotle
Aristotle was a Greek philosopher and polymath, a student of Plato and teacher of Alexander the Great. His writings cover many subjects, including physics, metaphysics, poetry, theater, music, logic, rhetoric, linguistics, politics, government, ethics, biology, and zoology...

 (particularly his Rhetoric
Rhetoric (Aristotle)
Aristotle's Rhetoric is an ancient Greek treatise on the art of persuasion, dating from the 4th century BC. In Greek, it is titled ΤΕΧΝΗ ΡΗΤΟΡΙΚΗ, in Latin Ars Rhetorica. In English, its title varies: typically it is titled Rhetoric, the Art of Rhetoric, or a Treatise on...

 and Poetics).

Augustine's concept of original sin was expounded in his works against the Pelagians. However, St. Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas, O.P. , also Thomas of Aquin or Aquino, was an Italian Dominican priest of the Catholic Church, and an immensely influential philosopher and theologian in the tradition of scholasticism, known as Doctor Angelicus, Doctor Communis, or Doctor Universalis...

 took much of Augustine's theology while creating his own unique synthesis of Greek and Christian thought after the widespread rediscovery of the work of Aristotle. Augustine's doctrine of efficacious grace found eloquent expression in the works of Bernard of Clairvaux
Bernard of Clairvaux
Bernard of Clairvaux, O.Cist was a French abbot and the primary builder of the reforming Cistercian order.After the death of his mother, Bernard sought admission into the Cistercian order. Three years later, he was sent to found a new abbey at an isolated clearing in a glen known as the Val...

; also Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

 theologians such as Martin Luther
Martin Luther
Martin Luther was a German priest, professor of theology and iconic figure of the Protestant Reformation. He strongly disputed the claim that freedom from God's punishment for sin could be purchased with money. He confronted indulgence salesman Johann Tetzel with his Ninety-Five Theses in 1517...

 and John Calvin
John Calvin
John Calvin was an influential French theologian and pastor during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian theology later called Calvinism. Originally trained as a humanist lawyer, he broke from the Roman Catholic Church around 1530...

 would look back to him as their inspiration.

Augustine was canonized
Canonization
Canonization is the act by which a Christian church declares a deceased person to be a saint, upon which declaration the person is included in the canon, or list, of recognized saints. Originally, individuals were recognized as saints without any formal process...

 by popular acclaim, and later recognized as a Doctor of the Church in 1298 by Pope Boniface VIII
Pope Boniface VIII
Pope Boniface VIII , born Benedetto Gaetani, was Pope of the Catholic Church from 1294 to 1303. Today, Boniface VIII is probably best remembered for his feuds with Dante, who placed him in the Eighth circle of Hell in his Divina Commedia, among the Simonists.- Biography :Gaetani was born in 1235 in...

. His feast day is August 28, the day on which he died. He is considered the patron saint of brewers, printers, theologians, sore eyes, and a number of cities and dioceses.

The latter part of Augustine's Confessions consists of an extended meditation on the nature of time. Even the agnostic philosopher Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Russell
Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell, OM, FRS was a British philosopher, logician, mathematician, historian, and social critic. At various points in his life he considered himself a liberal, a socialist, and a pacifist, but he also admitted that he had never been any of these things...

 was impressed by this. He wrote, "a very admirable relativistic theory of time. ... It contains a better and clearer statement than Kant
KANT
KANT is a computer algebra system for mathematicians interested in algebraic number theory, performing sophisticated computations in algebraic number fields, in global function fields, and in local fields. KASH is the associated command line interface...

's of the subjective theory of time - a theory which, since Kant, has been widely accepted among philosophers." Catholic theologians generally subscribe to Augustine's belief that God exists outside of time
Eternity
While in the popular mind, eternity often simply means existence for a limitless amount of time, many have used it to refer to a timeless existence altogether outside time. By contrast, infinite temporal existence is then called sempiternity. Something eternal exists outside time; by contrast,...

 in the "eternal present"; that time only exists within the created universe because only in space is time discernible through motion and change. His meditations on the nature of time are closely linked to his consideration of the human ability of memory
Memory
In psychology, memory is an organism's ability to store, retain, and recall information and experiences. Traditional studies of memory began in the fields of philosophy, including techniques of artificially enhancing memory....

. Frances Yates
Frances Yates
Dame Frances Amelia Yates DBE was a British historian. She taught at the Warburg Institute of the University of London for many years.She wrote extensively on the occult or Neoplatonic philosophies of the Renaissance...

 in her 1966 study The Art of Memory
The Art of Memory
The Art of Memory is a 1966 non-fiction book by British historian Frances A. Yates. The book follows the history of mnemonic systems from the classical period of Simonides of Ceos in Ancient Greece to the Renaissance era of Giordano Bruno, ending with Gottfried Leibniz and the early emergence of...

 argues that a brief passage of the Confessions, 10.8.12, in which Augustine writes of walking up a flight of stairs and entering the vast fields of memory clearly indicates that the ancient Romans were aware of how to use explicit spatial and architectural metaphors as a mnemonic
Mnemonic
A mnemonic , or mnemonic device, is any learning technique that aids memory. To improve long term memory, mnemonic systems are used to make memorization easier. Commonly encountered mnemonics are often verbal, such as a very short poem or a special word used to help a person remember something,...

 technique for organizing large amounts of information.

Augustine's philosophical method, especially demonstrated in his Confessions, has had continuing influence on Continental philosophy throughout the 20th century. His descriptive approach to intentionality, memory, and language as these phenomena are experienced within consciousness and time anticipated and inspired the insights of modern phenomenology and hermeneutics. Edmund Husserl
Edmund Husserl
Edmund Gustav Albrecht Husserl was a philosopher and mathematician and the founder of the 20th century philosophical school of phenomenology. He broke with the positivist orientation of the science and philosophy of his day, yet he elaborated critiques of historicism and of psychologism in logic...

 writes: "The analysis of time-consciousness is an age-old crux of descriptive psychology and theory of knowledge. The first thinker to be deeply sensitive to the immense difficulties to be found here was Augustine, who laboured almost to despair over this problem." Martin Heidegger
Martin Heidegger
Martin Heidegger was a German philosopher known for his existential and phenomenological explorations of the "question of Being."...

 refers to Augustine's descriptive philosophy at several junctures in his influential work, Being and Time. Hannah Arendt
Hannah Arendt
Hannah Arendt was a German American political theorist. She has often been described as a philosopher, although she refused that label on the grounds that philosophy is concerned with "man in the singular." She described herself instead as a political theorist because her work centers on the fact...

 began her philosophical writing with a dissertation on Augustine's concept of love, Der Liebesbegriff bei Augustin (1929): "The young Arendt attempted to show that the philosophical basis for vita socialis in Augustine can be understood as residing in neighbourly love, grounded in his understanding of the common origin of humanity." Jean Bethke Elshtain in Augustine and the Limits of Politics finds likeness between Augustine and Arendt in their concepts of evil: "Augustine did not see evil as glamorously demonic but rather as absence of good, something which paradoxically is really nothing. Arendt ... envisioned even the extreme evil which produced the Holocaust as merely banal [in Eichmann in Jerusalem]." Augustine's philosophical legacy continues to influence contemporary critical theory through the contributions and inheritors of these 20th century figures.

According to Leo Ruickbie
Leo Ruickbie
Leo Ruickbie is an historian and sociologist of magic, witchcraft and Wicca. He is the author of several books, beginning with Witchcraft Out of the Shadows, a 2004 publication outlining the history of witchcraft from ancient Greece until the modern day. Ruickbie was born in Scotland and took a...

, Augustine's arguments against magic
Magic (paranormal)
Magic is the claimed art of manipulating aspects of reality either by supernatural means or through knowledge of occult laws unknown to science. It is in contrast to science, in that science does not accept anything not subject to either direct or indirect observation, and subject to logical...

, differentiating it from miracle, were crucial in the early Church's fight against paganism and became a central thesis in the later denunciation of witches and witchcraft. According to Professor Deepak Lal, Augustine's vision of the heavenly city has influenced the secular projects and traditions of the Enlightenment
Age of Enlightenment
The Age of Enlightenment was an elite cultural movement of intellectuals in 18th century Europe that sought to mobilize the power of reason in order to reform society and advance knowledge. It promoted intellectual interchange and opposed intolerance and abuses in church and state...

, Marxism, Freudianism and Eco-fundamentalism.

Influence on St. Thomas Aquinas


For quotations of St. Augustine by St. Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas
Thomas Aquinas, O.P. , also Thomas of Aquin or Aquino, was an Italian Dominican priest of the Catholic Church, and an immensely influential philosopher and theologian in the tradition of scholasticism, known as Doctor Angelicus, Doctor Communis, or Doctor Universalis...

 see Aquinas and the Sacraments
Aquinas and the Sacraments
Aquinas and the Sacraments: The following article is a condensation of the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas in Summa contra Gentiles and Summa Theologica. As can be seen, Aquinas relied heavily on Scriptural passages, as well as the writings of various Church Fathers. St. Augustine says : The...

 and Thought of Thomas Aquinas
Thought of Thomas Aquinas
This article contains selected thoughts of Thomas Aquinas on various topics.-Social justice:Aquinas defines distributive justice as follows:...

.

On the topic of original sin, Aquinas proposed a more optimistic view of man than that of Augustine in that his conception leaves to the reason, will, and passions of fallen man their natural powers even after the Fall.

Influence on Protestant reformers


While in his pre-Pelagian writings Augustine taught that Adam's guilt as transmitted to his descendants much enfeebles, though does not destroy, the freedom of their will, Protestant reformers Martin Luther and John Calvin
John Calvin
John Calvin was an influential French theologian and pastor during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian theology later called Calvinism. Originally trained as a humanist lawyer, he broke from the Roman Catholic Church around 1530...

 affirmed that Original Sin completely destroyed liberty (see total depravity
Total depravity
Total depravity is a theological doctrine that derives from the Augustinian concept of original sin...

).

Abortion and ensoulment


Like other Church Fathers, St Augustine "vigorously condemned the practice of induced abortion" as a crime, in any stage of pregnancy, .

Anthropology


Augustine was one of the first Christian ancient Latin
Late Latin
Late Latin is the scholarly name for the written Latin of Late Antiquity. The English dictionary definition of Late Latin dates this period from the 3rd to the 6th centuries AD extending in Spain to the 7th. This somewhat ambiguously defined period fits between Classical Latin and Medieval Latin...

 authors with very clear anthropological vision. He saw the human being as a perfect unity of two substances: soul and body. In his late treatise On Care to Be Had for the Dead, section 5 (420
420
Year 420 was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Julian calendar. At the time, it was known as the Year of the Consulship of Theodosius and Constantius...

 AD) he exhorted to respect the body on the grounds that it belonged to the very nature of the human person
Person
A person is a human being, or an entity that has certain capacities or attributes strongly associated with being human , for example in a particular moral or legal context...

:

Augustine's favourite figure to describe body-soul unity is marriage
Marriage
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

: caro tua, coniunx tua - your body is your wife. Initially, the two elements were in perfect harmony. After the fall of humanity they are now experiencing dramatic combat between one another.

They are two categorically different things. The body is a three-dimensional object composed of the four elements, whereas the soul has no spatial dimensions. Soul is a kind of substance, participating in reason, fit for ruling the body.
Augustine was not preoccupied, as Plato
Plato
Plato , was a Classical Greek philosopher, mathematician, student of Socrates, writer of philosophical dialogues, and founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. Along with his mentor, Socrates, and his student, Aristotle, Plato helped to lay the...

 and Descartes were, with going too much into details in efforts to explain the metaphysics
Metaphysics
Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world, although the term is not easily defined. Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:...

 of the soul-body union. It suffices for him to admit that they are metaphysically distinct; to be a human is to be a composite of soul and body, and that the soul is superior to the body. The latter statement is grounded in his hierarchical classification of things into those that merely exist, those that exist and live, and those that exist, live, and have intelligence or reason.

Astrology


Augustine's contemporaries often believed astrology to be an exact and genuine science. Its practitioners were regarded as true men of learning and called mathemathici. Astrology played a prominent part in Manichean doctrine, and Augustine himself was attracted by their books in his youth, being particularly fascinated by those who claimed to foretell the future. Later as a bishop he used to warn that one should avoid astrologers who combine science and horoscopes. (Augustine's term "mathematici". meaning "astrologers", is sometimes mistranslated as "mathematicians".) According to Augustine, they were not genuine students of Hipparchus
Hipparchus
Hipparchus, the common Latinization of the Greek Hipparkhos, can mean:* Hipparchus, the ancient Greek astronomer** Hipparchic cycle, an astronomical cycle he created** Hipparchus , a lunar crater named in his honour...

 or Eratosthenes
Eratosthenes
Eratosthenes of Cyrene was a Greek mathematician, poet, athlete, geographer, astronomer, and music theorist.He was the first person to use the word "geography" and invented the discipline of geography as we understand it...

 but "common swindlers":

Baptism


Against the Pelagians Augustine strongly stressed the importance of infant baptism
Infant baptism
Infant baptism is the practice of baptising infants or young children. In theological discussions, the practice is sometimes referred to as paedobaptism or pedobaptism from the Greek pais meaning "child." The practice is sometimes contrasted with what is called "believer's baptism", or...

. About the question if baptism is an absolute necessity for salvation however, Augustine appears to have refined his beliefs during his lifetime, causing some confusion among later theologians about his position. He said in one of his sermons:
This belief was shared by many early Christians.

However, a passage from his City of God, concerning the Apocalypse, may indicate that Augustine did believe in an exception for children born to Christian parents:

Creation


In "The Literal Interpretation of Genesis" Augustine took the view that everything in the universe was created simultaneously by God, and not in seven calendar days like a plain account of Genesis would require. He argued that the six-day structure of creation presented in the book of Genesis represents a logical framework
Framework interpretation (Genesis)
The framework interpretation is an interpretation of the first chapter of the Book of Genesis which holds that the seven-day creation account found therein is not a literal or scientific description of the origins of the universe; rather, it is an ancient religious text which outlines a...

, rather than the passage of time in a physical way - it would bear a spiritual, rather than physical, meaning, which is no less literal. One reason for this interpretation is the passage in Sirach
Sirach
The Book of the All-Virtuous Wisdom of Jesus ben Sira , commonly called the Wisdom of Sirach or simply Sirach, and also known as Ecclesiasticus or Siracides , is a work from the early 2nd century B.C. written by the Jewish scribe Jesus ben Sirach of Jerusalem...

 18:1, creavit omni simul ("he created all things at once"), which Augustine took as proof that the days of Genesis 1 had to be taken non-literally. At the same time, however, Augustine did not hold to an age of the earth of millions or more years, as the quotation below from The City of God indicates. Augustine also does not envision original sin as originating structural changes in the universe, and even suggests that the bodies of Adam and Eve were already created mortal before the Fall. Apart from his specific views, Augustine recognizes that the interpretation of the creation story is difficult, and remarks that we should be willing to change our mind about it as new information comes up.

In "City of God", Augustine rejected both the immortality of the human race proposed by pagans, and contemporary ideas of ages (such as those of certain Greeks and Egyptians) that differed from the Church's sacred writings:

Ecclesiology



Augustine developed his doctrine of The Church principally in reaction to the Donatist
Donatist
Donatism was a Christian sect within the Roman province of Africa that flourished in the fourth and fifth centuries. It had its roots in the social pressures among the long-established Christian community of Roman North Africa , during the persecutions of Christians under Diocletian...

 sect. He taught a distinction between the "church visible" and "church invisible
Invisible church
The invisible church or church invisible is a theological concept of an "invisible" body of the elect who are known only to God, in contrast to the "visible church"—that is, the institutional body on earth which preaches the gospel and administers the sacraments...

". The former is the institutional body on earth which proclaims salvation and administers the sacraments while the latter is the invisible body of the elect, made up of genuine believers from all ages, and who are known only to God. The visible church will be made up of "wheat" and "tares", that is, good and wicked people (as per Mat. 13:30), until the end of time. This concept countered the Donatist claim that they were the only "true" or "pure" church on earth.

Augustine's ecclesiology was more fully developed in City of God. There he conceives of the church as a heavenly city or kingdom, ruled by love, which will ultimately triumph over all earthly empires which are self-indulgent and ruled by pride. Augustine followed Cyprian
Cyprian
Cyprian was bishop of Carthage and an important Early Christian writer, many of whose Latin works are extant. He was born around the beginning of the 3rd century in North Africa, perhaps at Carthage, where he received a classical education...

 in teaching that the bishops of the church are the successors of the apostles
Apostolic Succession
Apostolic succession is a doctrine, held by some Christian denominations, which asserts that the chosen successors of the Twelve Apostles, from the first century to the present day, have inherited the spiritual, ecclesiastical and sacramental authority, power, and responsibility that were...

.

Eschatology


Augustine originally believed that Christ would establish a literal 1,000-year kingdom prior to the general resurrection
Resurrection
Resurrection refers to the literal coming back to life of the biologically dead. It is used both with respect to particular individuals or the belief in a General Resurrection of the dead at the end of the world. The General Resurrection is featured prominently in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim...

 (premillennialism
Premillennialism
Premillennialism in Christian end-times theology is the belief that Jesus will literally and physically be on the earth for his millennial reign, at his second coming. The doctrine is called premillennialism because it holds that Jesus’ physical return to earth will occur prior to the inauguration...

 or chiliasm) but rejected the system as carnal. He was the first theologian to systematically expound a doctrine of amillennialism
Amillennialism
Amillennialism is a view in Christian end-times theology named for its rejection of the theory that Jesus Christ will have a thousand-year long, physical reign on the earth...

, although some theologians and Christian historians believe his position was closer to that of modern postmillennialists
Postmillennialism
In Christian end-times theology, , postmillennialism is an interpretation of chapter 20 of the Book of Revelation which sees Christ's second coming as occurring after the "Millennium", a Golden Age in which Christian ethics prosper...

. The mediaeval Catholic church built its system of eschatology on Augustinian amillennialism, where the Christ rules the earth spiritually through his triumphant church. At the Reformation, theologians such as John Calvin
John Calvin
John Calvin was an influential French theologian and pastor during the Protestant Reformation. He was a principal figure in the development of the system of Christian theology later called Calvinism. Originally trained as a humanist lawyer, he broke from the Roman Catholic Church around 1530...

 accepted amillennialism while rejecting aspects of mediaeval ecclesiology which had been built on Augustine's teaching.

Augustine taught that the eternal fate of the soul is determined at death, and that purgatorial
Purgatory
Purgatory is the condition or process of purification or temporary punishment in which, it is believed, the souls of those who die in a state of grace are made ready for Heaven...

 fires of the intermediate state
Intermediate state
In Christian eschatology, the intermediate state or interim state refers to a person's "intermediate" existence between one's death and one's resurrection from the dead...

 purify only those that died in communion with the Church. His teaching provided fuel for later theology.

Epistemological views


Augustine's intellectual development was shaped by epistemological concerns. His early dialogues (Contra academicos (386) and De Magistro (389)), both written shortly after his conversion to Christianity, reflect his engagement with skeptical arguments and show the development of his doctrine of inner illumination. Augustine also posed the problem of other minds
Problem of other minds
The problem of other minds has traditionally been regarded as an epistemological challenge raised by the skeptic. The challenge may be expressed as follows: given that I can only observe the behavior of others, how can I know that others have minds? The thought behind the question is that no matter...

 throughout different works, most famously perhaps in On the Trinity
On the Trinity
On the Trinity is a Latin book written by Augustine of Hippo to discuss the Trinity in context of the logos.It is placed by him in his Retractations among the works written in AD 400. In letters of AD 410, AD 414, and at the end of AD 415, it is referred to as still unfinished and unpublished...

 (VIII.6.9), and develops what has come to be a standard solution: the argument from analogy to other minds. In contrast to Plato and jessika(: other earlier philosophers, Augustine recognizes the centrality of testimony
Philosophical problems of testimony
In philosophy, testimony includes any words or utterances that are presented as evidence for the claims they express. This definition may be distinguished from the legal notion of testimony in that the speaker does not have to make a declaration of the truth of the facts.The role of testimony in...

 to human knowledge and argues that what others tell us can provide knowledge even if we don't have independent reasons to believe their testimonial reports.

Intercession of the Saints


In his book Confessions, Augustine wrote of a peculiar practice of his Christian mother, Monica, in which she "brought to certain oratories, erected in the memory of the saints, offerings of porridge, bread, and wine." When she moved to Milan, the bishop Ambrose forbade her to use the offering of wine, since "it might be an occasion of gluttony for those who were already given to drink". So, Augustine wrote of her:

Just war



Augustine agreed strongly with the conventional wisdom of the time, that Christians should be pacifists in their personal lives. But he routinely argued that this did not apply to the defense of innocents. In essence, the pursuit of peace must include the option of fighting to preserve it in the long-term. Such a war could not be preemptive, but defensive, to restore peace.

Thomas Aquinas, centuries later, used the authority of Augustine's arguments in an attempt to define the conditions under which a war could be just:
  • First, war must occur for a good and just purpose rather than for self-gain or as an exercise of power.
  • Second, just war must be waged by a properly instituted authority such as the state.
  • Third, peace must be a central motive even in the midst of violence.

Mariology


Although Augustine did not develop an independent Mariology, his statements on Mary surpass in number and depth those of other early writers. Even before the Council of Ephesus, he defended the ever Virgin Mary as the Mother of God, who, because of her virginity, is full of grace. Likewise, he affirmed that the Virgin Mary “conceived as virgin, gave birth as virgin and stayed virgin forever”.

Natural knowledge and biblical interpretation


Augustine took the view that the Biblical text should not be interpreted as properly literal, but rather as metaphorical, if it contradicts what we know from science and our God-given reason. While each passage of Scripture has a literal sense, this "literal sense" does not always mean that the Scriptures are mere history; at times they are rather an extended metaphor. In The Literal Interpretation of Genesis, St. Augustine wrote:

A more clear distinction between "metaphorical" and "literal" in literary texts arose with the rise of the Scientific Revolution
Scientific revolution
The Scientific Revolution is an era associated primarily with the 16th and 17th centuries during which new ideas and knowledge in physics, astronomy, biology, medicine and chemistry transformed medieval and ancient views of nature and laid the foundations for modern science...

, although its source could be found in earlier writings, such as those of Herodotus
Herodotus
Herodotus was an ancient Greek historian who was born in Halicarnassus, Caria and lived in the 5th century BC . He has been called the "Father of History", and was the first historian known to collect his materials systematically, test their accuracy to a certain extent and arrange them in a...

 (5th century BC). It was even considered heretical to interpret the Bible literally at times.

Original sin



Augustine taught that Original sin of Adam and Eve was either an act of foolishness (insipientia) followed by pride and disobedience to God or the opposite: pride came first. The first couple disobeyed God, who had told them not to eat of the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Gen 2:17). The tree was a symbol of the order of creation. Self-centeredness made Adam and Eve eat of it, thus failing to acknowledge and respect the world as it was created by God, with its hierarchy of beings and values. They would not have fallen into pride and lack of wisdom, if Satan hadn't sown into their senses "the root of evil" (radix Mali). Their nature was wounded by concupiscence or libido, which affected human intelligence and will, as well as affections and desires, including sexual desire. In terms of Metaphysics
Metaphysics
Metaphysics is a branch of philosophy concerned with explaining the fundamental nature of being and the world, although the term is not easily defined. Traditionally, metaphysics attempts to answer two basic questions in the broadest possible terms:...

, concupiscence is not a being but bad quality, the privation of good or a wound.

Augustine's understanding of the consequences of the original sin and of necessity of the redeeming grace was developed in the struggle against Pelagius
Pelagius
Pelagius was an ascetic who denied the need for divine aid in performing good works. For him, the only grace necessary was the declaration of the law; humans were not wounded by Adam's sin and were perfectly able to fulfill the law apart from any divine aid...

 and his pelagian
Pelagianism
Pelagianism is a theological theory named after Pelagius , although he denied, at least at some point in his life, many of the doctrines associated with his name. It is the belief that original sin did not taint human nature and that mortal will is still capable of choosing good or evil without...

 disciples, Caelestius
Caelestius
Caelestius was the major follower of the Christian teacher Pelagius and the Christian doctrine of Pelagianism, which was opposed to Augustine of Hippo and his doctrine in original sin, and was later declared to be heresy....

 and Julian of Eclanum
Julian of Eclanum
Julian of Eclanum was bishop of Eclanum, near today's Benevento . He was a distinguished leader of the Pelagians of 5th century.-Life:...

, who had been inspired by Rufinus of Syria, a disciple of Theodore of Mopsuestia
Theodore of Mopsuestia
Theodore the Interpreter was bishop of Mopsuestia from 392 to 428 AD. He is also known as Theodore of Antioch, from the place of his birth and presbyterate...

. They refused to agree that libido wounded human will and mind, insisting that the human nature was given the power to act, to speak, and to think when God created it. Human nature cannot lose its moral capacity for doing good, but a person is free to act or not to act in a righteous way. Pelagius gave an example of eyes: they have capacity for seeing, but a person can make either good or bad use of it. Like Jovinian
Jovinian
Jovinian, or Jovinianus, was an opponent of Christian asceticism in the 4th century and was condemned as a heretic at synods convened in Rome under Pope Siricius and in Milan by St Ambrose in 393. Our information about him is derived principally from the work of St. Jerome in two books, Adversus...

, pelagians insisted that human affections and desires were not touched by the fall either. Immorality, e.g. fornication, is exclusively a matter of will, i.e. a person does not use natural desires in a proper way.
In opposition to that, Augustine pointed out to the apparent disobedience of the flesh to the spirit, and explained it as one of the results of original sin, punishment of Adam and Eve's disobedience to God:
Augustine had served as a "Hearer" for the Manicheans for about nine years, who taught that the original sin was carnal knowledge. But his struggle to understand the cause of evil in the world started before that, at the age of nineteen. By malum (evil) he understood most of all concupiscence, which he interpreted as a vice dominating person and causing in men and women moral disorder. A. Trapè insists that Augustine's personal experience cannot be credited for his doctrine about concupiscence. His marriage experience, though Christian marriage celebration was missing, was exemplary, very normal and by no means specifically sad. As J. Brachtendorf showed, Augustine used Cicero
Cicero
Marcus Tullius Cicero , was a Roman philosopher, statesman, lawyer, political theorist, and Roman constitutionalist. He came from a wealthy municipal family of the equestrian order, and is widely considered one of Rome's greatest orators and prose stylists.He introduced the Romans to the chief...

nian Stoic
Stoicism
Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy founded in Athens by Zeno of Citium in the early . The Stoics taught that destructive emotions resulted from errors in judgment, and that a sage, or person of "moral and intellectual perfection," would not suffer such emotions.Stoics were concerned...

 concept of passions, to interpret St. Paul's doctrine of universal sin and redemption.

The view that not only human soul but also senses were influenced by the fall of Adam and Eve was prevalent in Augustine's time among the Fathers of the Church. It is clear that the reason of Augustine's distance towards the affairs of the flesh was different than that of Plotinus
Plotinus
Plotinus was a major philosopher of the ancient world. In his system of theory there are the three principles: the One, the Intellect, and the Soul. His teacher was Ammonius Saccas and he is of the Platonic tradition...

, a neo-Platonist who taught that only through disdain for fleshly desire could one reach the ultimate state of mankind. Augustine taught the redemption, i.e. transformation and purification, of the body in the resurrection.

Some authors perceive Augustine's doctrine as directed against human sex
Sex
In biology, sex is a process of combining and mixing genetic traits, often resulting in the specialization of organisms into a male or female variety . Sexual reproduction involves combining specialized cells to form offspring that inherit traits from both parents...

uality and attribute his insistence on continence and devotion to God as coming from Augustine's need to reject his own highly sensual nature as described in the Confessions. But in view of his writings it is apparently a misunderstanding. Augustine teaches that human sexuality has been wounded, together with the whole of human nature, and requires redemption
Redemption (theology)
Redemption is a concept common to several theologies. It is generally associated with the efforts of people within a faith to overcome their shortcomings and achieve the moral positions exemplified in their faith.- In Buddhism :...

 of Christ. That healing is a process realized in conjugal acts. The virtue of continence is achieved thanks to the grace of the sacrament of Christian marriage, which becomes therefore a remedium concupiscentiae - remedy of concupiscence. The redemption of human sexuality will be, however, fully accomplished only in the resurrection of the body.

The sin of Adam is inherited by all human beings. Already in his pre-Pelagian writings, Augustine taught that Original Sin was transmitted by concupiscence
Concupiscence
Concupiscence is often defined as an ardent, usually sensual, longing or lust. The concept is most commonly encountered in Christian theology, as the selfish human desire for an object, person, or experience...

, which he regarded as the passion of both, soul and body, making humanity a massa damnata (mass of perdition, condemned crowd) and much enfeebling, though not destroying, the freedom of the will.

Augustine's formulation of the doctrine of original sin was confirmed at numerous councils, i.e. Carthage
Councils of Carthage
Councils of Carthage, also referred to as Synods of Carthage were church synods held during the 3rd, 4th, and 5th centuries in the town of Carthage in Africa...

 (418), Ephesus (431),
Orange
Councils of Orange
The Councils of Orange comprised two synods held at Orange, France. The first dealt with various church issues. The second affirmed Augustine's teaching against Pelagian challenge.-First Council of Orange:...

 (529), Trent
Council of Trent
The Council of Trent was the 16th-century Ecumenical Council of the Roman Catholic Church. It is considered to be one of the Church's most important councils. It convened in Trent between December 13, 1545, and December 4, 1563 in twenty-five sessions for three periods...

 (1546) and by popes, i.e. Pope Innocent I
Pope Innocent I
-Biography:He was, according to his biographer in the Liber Pontificalis, the son of a man called Innocens of Albano; but according to his contemporary Jerome, his father was Pope Anastasius I , whom he was called by the unanimous voice of the clergy and laity to succeed -Biography:He was,...

 (401–417) and Pope Zosimus
Pope Zosimus
Pope Saint Zosimus was Pope from March 18, 417 to December 26, 418 .He succeeded Innocent I, and was followed by Boniface I. Zosimus took a decided part in the protracted dispute in Gaul as to the jurisdiction of the see of Arles over that of Vienne, giving energetic decisions in favour of the...

 (417–418). Anselm of Canterbury
Anselm of Canterbury
Anselm of Canterbury , also called of Aosta for his birthplace, and of Bec for his home monastery, was a Benedictine monk, a philosopher, and a prelate of the church who held the office of Archbishop of Canterbury from 1093 to 1109...

 established in his Cur Deus Homo the definition that was followed by the great Schoolmen, namely that Original Sin is the "privation of the righteousness which every man ought to possess", thus interpreting concupiscence as something more than mere sexual lust, with which some Augustine's disciples had defined it as later did Luther and Calvin, a doctrine condemned in 1567 by Pope Pius V
Pope Pius V
Pope Saint Pius V , born Antonio Ghislieri , was Pope from 1566 to 1572 and is a saint of the Catholic Church. He is chiefly notable for his role in the Council of Trent, the Counter-Reformation, and the standardization of the Roman liturgy within the Latin Church...

.

Lutherans
Lutheranism
Lutheranism is a major branch of Western Christianity that identifies with the theology of Martin Luther, a German reformer. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the church launched the Protestant Reformation...

 and Calvinists
Calvinism
Calvinism is a Protestant theological system and an approach to the Christian life...

 disaccordingly claim that, according to Augustine, human beings are utterly depraved in nature. According to them, humans are spoiled by the original sin to the extent that the very presence of concupiscence, fomes peccati (incendiary of sin), is already a personal sin. Augustine's doctrine about the liberum arbitrium or free will and its inability to respond to the will of God without divine grace is interpreted (mistakenly according to Roman Catholics) in terms of Predestination
Predestination
Predestination, in theology is the doctrine that all events have been willed by God. John Calvin interpreted biblical predestination to mean that God willed eternal damnation for some people and salvation for others...

: grace is irresistible
Irresistible grace
Irresistible Grace is a doctrine in Christian theology particularly associated with Calvinism, which teaches that the saving grace of God is effectually applied to those whom he has determined to save and, in God's timing, overcomes their resistance to obeying the call of the gospel, bringing...

, results in conversion, and leads to perseverance
Perseverance of the saints
Perseverance of the saints, as well as the corollary—though distinct—doctrine known as "Once Saved, Always Saved", is a Calvinist teaching that once persons are truly saved they can never lose their salvation....

. The Calvinist
Calvinism
Calvinism is a Protestant theological system and an approach to the Christian life...

 view of Augustine's teachings rests on the assertion that God has foreordained, from eternity, those who will be saved. The number of the elect is fixed. God has chosen the elect certainly and gratuitously, without any previous merit (ante merita) on their part.

The Catholic Church considers Augustine's teaching to be consistent with free will. He often said that any can be saved if they wish. While God knows who will be saved and who will not, with no possibility that one destined to be lost will be saved, this knowledge represents God's perfect knowledge of how humans will freely choose their destinies.

Sacramental theology


Also in reaction against the Donatists, Augustine developed a distinction between the "regularity" and "validity" of the sacraments. Regular sacraments are performed by clergy of the Catholic Church while sacraments performed by schismatics are considered irregular. Nevertheless, the validity of the sacraments do not depend upon the holiness of the priests who perform them (ex opere operato
Ex opere operato
Ex opere operato is a Latin phrase meaning "from the work done" referring to the efficacy of the Sacraments deriving from the action of the Sacrament as opposed to the merits or holiness of the priest or minister....

); therefore, irregular sacraments are still accepted as valid provided they are done in the name of Christ and in the manner prescribed by the Church. On this point Augustine departs from the earlier teaching of Cyprian, who taught that converts from schismatic movements must be re-baptised.

Eucharist


Convinced of the Real presence
Real Presence
Real Presence is a term used in various Christian traditions to express belief that in the Eucharist, Jesus Christ is really present in what was previously just bread and wine, and not merely present in symbol, a figure of speech , or by his power .Not all Christian traditions accept this dogma...

 of Christ in the Eucharist, Augustine made the following logical observation regarding this sacrament: "Christ was carried in his own hands when, referring to his own body, he said, ‘This is my body’ [Matt. 26:26]. For he carried that body in his hands."

In a sermon addressed to new Christians, Augustine explicitly described the bread and wine as the body and blood of Christ.
I promised you [new Christians], who have now been baptized, a sermon in which I would explain the sacrament of the Lord’s Table. . . . That bread which you see on the altar, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the body of Christ. That chalice, or rather, what is in that chalice, having been sanctified by the word of God, is the blood of Christ.

What you see is the bread and the chalice; that is what your own eyes report to you. But what your faith obliges you to accept is that the bread is the body of Christ and the chalice is the blood of Christ. This has been said very briefly, which may perhaps be sufficient for faith; yet faith does not desire instruction".

Soteriology


Augustine made several statements concerning his views on the limitations of the atonement, such as:

Statements on Jews


Against certain Christian movements, some of which rejected the use of Hebrew Scripture, Augustine countered that God had chosen the Jews as a special people, and he considered the scattering of Jews by the Roman Empire to be a fulfillment of prophecy.

Augustine also quotes part of the same prophecy that says "Slay them not, lest they should at last forget Thy law" (Psalm 59:11). Augustine argued that God had allowed the Jews to survive this dispersion as a warning to Christians, thus they were to be permitted to dwell in Christian lands. Augustine further argued that the Jews would be converted at the end of time.

Views on lust


Augustine struggled with lust throughout his life. He had a mistress before he converted, but once he became a Christian, he condemned all forms of extra-marital sex (including his previous relationship with his mistress), considering them unlawful and unbiblical. In the Confessions, Augustine describes his personal struggle in vivid terms: "But I, wretched, most wretched, in the very commencement of my early youth, had begged chastity of Thee, and said, 'Grant me chastity and continence, only not yet.'" At sixteen Augustine moved to Carthage where again he was plagued by this "wretched sin":
For Augustine, the evil was not in the sexual act itself, but rather in the emotions that typically accompany it. In On Christian Doctrine Augustine contrasts love and lust:
Here we can see the theoretical resolution of the struggle documented in Confessions: that proper love exercises a denial of selfish pleasure and the subjugation of corporeal desire to God.

To the pious virgins raped during the sack of Rome, he writes, "Truth, another's lust cannot pollute thee." Chastity is "a virtue of the mind, and is not lost by rape, but is lost by the intention of sin, even if unperformed."

Augustine viewed erection
Erection
Penile erection is a physiological phenomenon where the penis becomes enlarged and firm. Penile erection is the result of a complex interaction of psychological, neural, vascular and endocrine factors, and is usually, though not exclusively, associated with sexual arousal...

s themselves as involuntary: at times, without intention, the body stirs on its own, insistent; at other times, it leaves a straining lover in the lurch.

In short, Augustine's life experience led him to consider lust to be one of the most grievous sins, and a serious obstacle to the virtuous life.

Teaching philosophy



Augustine is considered an influential figure in the history of education. He introduced the theory of three different categories of students, and instructed teachers to adapt their teaching styles to each student's individual learning style. The three different kinds of students are: the student who has been well-educated by knowledgeable teachers; the student who has had no education; and the student who has had a poor education, but believes himself to be well-educated. If a student has been well educated in a wide variety of subjects, the teacher must be careful not to repeat what they have already learned, but to challenge the student with material which they do not yet know thoroughly. With the student who has had no education, the teacher must be patient, willing to repeat things until the student understands, and sympathetic. Perhaps the most difficult student, however, is the one with an inferior education who believes he understands something when he does not. Augustine stressed the importance of showing this type of student the difference between "having words and having understanding," and of helping the student to remain humble with his acquisition of knowledge.

Another radical idea which Augustine introduced is the idea of teachers responding positively to the questions they may receive from their students, no matter if the student interrupted his teacher. Augustine also founded the restrained style of teaching. This teaching style ensures the students' full understanding of a concept because the teacher does not bombard the student with too much material; focuses on one topic at a time; helps them discover what they don't understand, rather than moving on too quickly; anticipates questions; and helps them learn to solve difficulties and find solutions to problems. Yet another of Augustine's major contributions to education is his study on the styles of teaching. He claimed there are two basic styles a teacher uses when speaking to the students. The mixed style includes complex and sometimes showy language to help students see the beautiful artistry of the subject they are studying. The grand style is not quite as elegant as the mixed style, but is exciting and heartfelt, with the purpose of igniting the same passion in the students' hearts.

Augustine balanced his teaching philosophy with the traditional Bible
Bible
The Bible refers to any one of the collections of the primary religious texts of Judaism and Christianity. There is no common version of the Bible, as the individual books , their contents and their order vary among denominations...

-based practice of strict discipline. For example, he agreed with using punishment as an incentive for children to learn. He believed all people tend toward evil, and students must therefore be physically punished when they allow their evil desires to direct their actions.

List of Works (books, letters and sermons)


  • On Christian Doctrine
    On Christian Doctrine
    De doctrina christiana is a theological text written by St. Augustine of Hippo. It consists of four books that describe how to interpret and teach the Scriptures. The first three of these books were published in 397 and the fourth added in 426. By writing this text, St...

     
  • Confessions
    Confessions (St. Augustine)
    Confessions is the name of an autobiographical work, consisting of 13 books, by St. Augustine of Hippo, written between AD 397 and AD 398. Modern English translations of it are sometimes published under the title The Confessions of St...

     (Confessiones, 397-398)
  • The City of God (De civitate Dei, begun ca. 413, finished 426)
  • On the Trinity (De trinitate, 400-416)
  • Enchiridion
    Enchiridion of Augustine
    The Enchiridion, Manual, or Handbook of Augustine of Hippo is alternatively titled, "Faith, Hope, and Love". The Enchiridion is a compact treatise on Christian piety, written in response to a request by an otherwise unknown person, named Laurentius, shortly after the death of Saint Jerome in 420...

     (Enchiridion ad Laurentium, seu de fide, spe et caritate)
  • Retractions (Retractationes): At the end of his life (ca. 426-428) Augustine revisited his previous works in chronological order. The English translation of the title has led some to assume that at the end of his career, Augustine retreated from his earlier theological positions. In fact, the Latin title literally means 're-treatments" (not "Retractions") and though in this work Augustine suggested what he would have said differently, it provides little in the way of actual "retraction." It does, however, give the reader a rare picture of the development of a writer and his final thoughts.
  • The Literal Meaning of Genesis (De Genesi ad litteram)
  • On Free Choice of the Will (De libero arbitrio
    De libero arbitrio (Augustine)
    De libero arbitrio is a book by Augustine of Hippo about the freedom of will. The bishop wrote it in three volumes, one 387-389 in Roma and the other two between 391 and 395 in Africa....

    )
  • On the Catechising of the Uninstructed (De catechizandis rudibus)
  • On Faith and the Creed (De fide et symbolo)
  • Concerning Faith of Things Not Seen (De fide rerum invisibilium)
  • On the Profit of Believing (De utilitate credendi)
  • On the Creed: A Sermon to Catechumens (De symbolo ad catechumenos)
  • On Continence (De continentia)
  • On the teacher (De magistro)
  • On the Good of Marriage (De bono coniugali)
  • On Holy Virginity (De sancta virginitate)
  • On the Good of Widowhood (De bono viduitatis)
  • On Lying (De mendacio)
  • To Consentius: Against Lying (Contra mendacium [ad Consentium])
  • To Quodvultdeus, On Heresies (De haeresibus ad Quodvultdeum)
  • On the Work of Monks (De opere monachorum)
  • On Patience (De patientia)
  • On Care to be Had For the Dead (De cura pro mortuis gerenda)
  • On the Morals of the Catholic Church and on the Morals of the Manichaeans (De moribus ecclesiae catholicae et de moribus Manichaeorum)
  • On Two Souls, Against the Manichaeans (De duabus animabus [contra Manichaeos])
  • Acts or Disputation Against Fortunatus the Manichaean ([Acta] contra Fortunatum [Manichaeum])
  • Against the Epistle of Manichaeus Called Fundamental (Contra epistulam Manichaei quam vocant fundamenti)
  • Reply to Faustus the Manichaean (Contra Faustum [Manichaeum])
  • Concerning the Nature of Good, Against the Manichaeans (De natura boni contra Manichaeos)
  • On Baptism, Against the Donatists (De baptismo [contra Donatistas])
  • The Correction of the Donatists (De correctione Donatistarum)
  • On Merits and Remission of Sin, and Infant Baptism (De peccatorum meritis et remissione et de baptismo parvulorum)
  • On the Spirit and the Letter (De spiritu et littera)
  • On Nature and Grace (De natura et gratia)
  • On Man's Perfection in Righteousness (De perfectione iustitiae hominis)
  • On the Proceedings of Pelagius (De gestis Pelagii)
  • On the Grace of Christ, and on Original Sin (De gratia Christi et de peccato originali)
  • On Marriage and Concupiscence (De nuptiis et concupiscientia)
  • On the Nature of the Soul and its Origin (De natura et origine animae)
  • Against Two Letters of the Pelagians (Contra duas epistulas Pelagianorum)
  • On Grace and Free Will (De gratia et libero arbitrio)
  • On Rebuke and Grace (De correptione et gratia)
  • On the Predestination of the Saints (De praedestinatione sanctorum)
  • On the Gift of Perseverance (De dono perseverantiae)
  • Our Lord's Sermon on the Mount (De sermone Domini in monte)
  • On the Harmony of the Evangelists (De consensu evangelistarum)
  • Treatises on the Gospel of John (In Iohannis evangelium tractatus)
  • Soliloquies
    Soliloquies of Augustine
    The Soliloquies of Augustine is a two book document written by the 4th century saint, Augustine of Hippo.The book has the form on an "inner dialogue" in which questions are posed, discussions take place and answers are provided, leading to self-knowledge...

     (Soliloquiorum libri duo)
  • Enarrations, or Expositions, on the Psalms (Enarrationes in Psalmos)
  • On the Immortality of the Soul (De immortalitate animae)
  • Answer to the Letters of Petilian, Bishop of Cirta (Contra litteras Petiliani)
  • Against the Academics (Contra Academicos)
  • Sermons, among which a series on selected lessons of the New Testament
  • Homilies, among which a series on the First Epistle of John

Translations


English translations of Augustine's work abound. One of the best translations of Augustine into English currently available is the one offered by New City Press in the series The Works of St. Augustine: A translation for the 21st Century. To date, this is also the most complete translation of Augustine's works in English. The second most complete translation of Augustine's works in English is by the Catholic University of America Press
Catholic University of America Press
The Catholic University of America Press, also known as CUA Press, is the academic publishing house of the Catholic University of America. Founded on November 14, 1939, and incorporated on July 16, 1941, the Press is a founding member of the Association of American University Presses...

. The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy offers a list of selected translations, which however does not claim to be exhaustive.

In popular culture


Augustine was played by Dary Berkani in the 1972 television movie Augustine of Hippo. He was also played by Franco Nero
Franco Nero
Franco Nero is an Italian actor.-Early life:Nero was born Francesco Sparanero in San Prospero Parmense , the son of a sergeant in the...

 in the 2010 mini-series Augustine: The Decline of the Roman Empire
Augustine: The Decline of the Roman Empire
Augustine: The Decline of the Roman Empire is a 2010 two-part television miniseries chronicling the life of St...

. The modern day name links to the Agostinelli Family.

Jostein Gaarder
Jostein Gaarder
Jostein Gaarder /ˈju:staɪn ˈgɔːrdər/ is a Norwegian intellectual and author of several novels, short stories and children's books. Gaarder often writes from the perspective of children, exploring their sense of wonder about the world. He often uses metafiction in his works, writing stories within...

's book Vita Brevis
Vita Brevis
VITA BREVIS :"Brief Life" is a book written by Jostein Gaarder and published in 1996. Gaarder presents the text as written by Saint Augustine´s lover .-Plot:...

 is a translation of a letter Gaarder found in a bookshop in Buenos Aires which is assumed to be a letter from Augustine's concubine to him after he became the Bishop of Hippo.

See also


External links


General

Bibliography

Works by Augustine

Biography and criticism