Presentation on theme: "Aurelius Augustine b. November 13, 354 d. August 28, 430 “A life searching for truth which would bring human fulfillment”"— Presentation transcript:
Aurelius Augustine b. November 13, 354 d. August 28, 430 “A life searching for truth which would bring human fulfillment”
Apostolic Church Apostolic Fathers Church Councils Church History Ca. 30AD590 AD1517 AD Golden Age of Church Fathers Reformation & Counter Reformation Rationalism, Revivalism, & Denominationalism Revivalism, Missions, & Modernism ? Ancient Church HistoryMedieval Church HistoryModern Church History The Pre-Reformers The First Medieval Pope The Rise of the Holy Roman Empire The Crusades The Papacy in Decline
Augustine of Hippo 354 - 430 The Cauldron of Conversion 354 - 387 *Africa *Parents *Education *Conversion *Disposition His Christian Service in the Church 387 - 430 Confessions *Polemicist *Preacher *Episcopal Administrator *Theologian *Philosopher His spiritual pilgrimage & conversion as a clue to, an illustration of, the universal situation of human beings in relation to God Philosophy Practice Practical problems of the church Interior search for the truth Augustine will sound this theme which will permeate his thinking about every major problem he would face. “Though the human self is created for the knowledge and love of God and is “unquiet” until it comes to rest in God, it is also turned away from God and lost in a falsely directed love. While this perversion can be described, it cannot be accounted for. Its springs... will lie deeper than the level of conscious choice; by the same token, its rectification depends on an impulse which human choice cannot of itself provide. Only the grace and love of God, working in ways which cannot always be discerned or understood, can redirect human loving and focus it on the ultimate source of its fulfillment – God.”
North Africa North Africa – by the 4 th Century in decline Carthage had been a great threat to Rome and almost defeated Rome, a large sea port, with cosmopolitan lifestyle. Became a Roman colony. Coluseums, and baths, and forums – wild beast shows Carthage settled by Phoenicians Thagaste (Tagaste) was under the influence/control of Carthage. It was a city 150 miles from the sea and 2000 ft high It was located in an area of forests and pines and farms. A Roman colony Brown “Augustine will grow up in a hard, competitive world among proud and impoverished gentlefolk.” A classical education was the only passport out of this life.
Landowner and Farmer He was a member of the ruling class in Thagaste, but was not wealthy. Living outside his means. Out of pride of his class standing, he wanted Augustine to succeed, but showed little personal interest in his son. He allowed Augustine to do as he pleased, and cared nothing at all about his morals. Some believe Patricius had been unfaithful to Monica, but never beat her like many husbands in that day. Older brother, Navigius Older sister(s), unknown Augustine’s Family Patricius Monica 23 yrs old when Aug. born, a Berber, spoke with a heavy accent Restrained, dignified, above gossip, a firm peacemaker, capable of effective sarcasm. She was raised in a Christian family and committed to faithful Christian living. Given to dreams. Influential in husband’s conv. Father’s conversion? Committed to giving her children a classical education. She was an all absorbing mother almost smothering her son. Faithful to pray for Augustine’s conversion – more than a dead son A son of so many prayers and tears could not be lost, and the faithful mother who travailed with him in spirit with greater pain than her body had in bringing him into the world was privileged to see her son saved shortly before her death. During that sixteenth year of my age, I lived with my parents, having a holiday from school for a time--this idleness imposed upon me by my parents' straitened finances. The thorn bushes of lust grew rank about my head, and there was no hand to root them out. Indeed, when my father saw me one day at the baths and perceived that I was becoming a man, and was showing the signs of adolescence, he joyfully told my mother about it as if already looking forward to grandchildren, rejoicing in that sort of inebriation in which the world so often forgets thee, its Creator, and falls in love with thy creature instead of thee--the inebriation of that invisible wine of a perverted will which turns and bows down to infamy. But in my mother's breast thou had already begun to build thy temple and the foundation of thy holy habitation--whereas my father was only a catechumen, and that but recently. She was, therefore, startled with a holy fear and trembling: for though I had not yet been baptized, she feared those crooked ways in which they walk who turn their backs to thee and not their faces. Brown – “Augustine, a man of many significant silences, will pass him over (his father) coldly. He was generous, but ‘hot tempered’. Patricius had been immoderately proud of his son: he was admired by all for the sacrifices he made to complete Augustine’s education. Augustine records a scene in the baths, in which his father had been delighted to find that his son had reached puberty. All that the son will say, in return, is that ‘he sees in me only hollow things’. Patricius died just after he had scraped together enough money to send his brilliant boy to Carthage. Augustine, who will soon experience and express deep grief at the loss of a friend, will mention his father’s death only in passing.”
And although she knew that my passions were destructive even then and dangerous for the future, she did not think they should be restrained by the bonds of conjugal affection--if, indeed, they could not be cut away to the quick. She took no heed of this, for she was afraid lest a wife should prove a hindrance and a burden to my hopes. These were not her hopes of the world to come, which my mother had in thee, but the hope of learning, which both my parents were too anxious that I should acquire--my father, because he had little or no thought of thee, and only vain thoughts for me; my mother, because she thought that the usual course of study would not only be no hindrance but actually a furtherance toward my eventual return to thee. This much I conjecture, recalling as well as I can the temperaments of my parents. Meantime, the reins of discipline were slackened on me, so that without the restraint of due severity, I might play at whatsoever I fancied, even to the point of dissoluteness. And in all this there was that mist which shut out from my sight the brightness of thy truth, O my God; and my iniquity bulged out, as it were, with fatness!
But what was it that delighted me save to love and to be loved? Still I did not keep the moderate way of the love of mind to mind--the bright path of friendship. Instead, the mists of passion steamed up out of the puddly concupiscence of the flesh, and the hot imagination of puberty, and they so obscured and overcast my heart that I was unable to distinguish pure affection from unholy desire. Both boiled confusedly within me, and dragged my unstable youth down over the cliffs of unchaste desires and plunged me into a gulf of infamy. Thy anger had come upon me, and I knew it not. I had been deafened by the clanking of the chains of my mortality, the punishment for my soul's pride, and I wandered farther from thee, and thou didst permit me to do so. I was tossed to and fro, and wasted, and poured out, and I boiled over in my fornications--and yet thou didst hold thy peace, O my tardy Joy! Thou didst still hold thy peace, and I wandered still farther from thee into more and yet more barren fields of sorrow, in proud dejection and restless lassitude. *Not Diligent in his studies as a boy, he later would burn himself up with the fury to know all things *Strong Affection for His Mother *Passionate & Ambitious constantly seeking for a purpose in life *Clear mind *Physical and athletic *Played games Augustine’s Disposition Robert Payne “Augustine’s early years reveal an intense, proud, and sensual man who yearned to know truth.” Strengths Weaknesses *Easily Hurt *Ungovernable Temper *Prolific & Proficient Liar *Thief *Proud *Full of Lust
Augustine’s Education Augustine will be educated to become a master of the spoken word. “The ideal product of this [Latin] education was the orator, a man who could give pleasure throughout his argument, by his vivacity, by the feelings at his command, by the ease with which the words came to him, perfectly adapted to dress his message in style.” Brown His education was thoroughly pagan, lacking in Greek studies, steeped in Latin ancient classics. 354 Augustine born 367 Sent to Madura 370 Goes to Carthage 372 Becomes a Manichee Returns to Thagaste 376 Teaches Rhetoric in Carthage Returns Home takes a concubine “In the usual course of the syllabus, I had reached a book by Cicero: its style was admired by almost all, though its message was ignored. This book, however, Contains an exhortation to philosophy: it is called “The Hortensius”. This book, Indeed, changed all my way of feeling. It changed my prayers to Thee, O Lord; it gave me entirely different plans and aspirations. Suddenly, all empty hope for my career lost its appeal; and I was left with an unbelievable fire in my heart, desiring the deathless qualities of Wisdom, and I made a start to rise up and return to Thee.... I was on fire, my God, on fire to fly away from earthly things to Thee.” Augustine turns to the Bible, but finds it cold and meaningless, thus, he turns to Manichaeanism because it offered truth and dealt with the problem of evil.
Augustine’s Conversion He arrives in Rome and is given audience to a Roman prefect, Symmachus, because of Augustine’s ties to Manichaeanism. Symmachus was Ambrose’s cousin and both were fighting to influence Rome. Symmachus was looking to appoint a teacher to an influential government position of teacher of rhetoric in Milan. Will leave Carthage to go to Rome to pursue a better career. Students Monica
“Vagabond Mind” Paganism – he joined a pagan cult Philosophy Astrology 12 to 19 19 to 31 Manichaeanism Skepticism Neoplatonism Augustine’s Search for Truth July, 386 “I dared to roam the woods and pursue my vagrant loves beneath the shades.... Lord, how loathsome I was in Thy sight…. Lust stormed confusedly within me, whirling my thoughtless youth over the precipices of desire, and so I wandered still further from Thee, and Thou didst leave me to myself: the torrent of my fornications tossed and swelled and boiled and run over.” Interior search for truth and an absorption in worldly and sexual gratification
Intense desire for truth & serious intellectual pursuit. Has a great sense of his evil nature. Christian influence of his mother and a growing culture of Christianity. Tries Manichaeanism, but rejects it. Tries Platonism, but rejects it. Circumstances of Augustine’s Conversion Background Alternatives to Christianity
Comes under the preaching of Ambrose and struck by the certainty of truth and answers to the problem of evil given in his sermons. A visitor named Pontitian challenged Augustine to take up the monastic life and chastity. Ambition and Physical Pleasure. “Give me chastity and continence; but not now.” Is forced to give up mistress of 15 years and mother of his son for an arranged marriage to achieve a higher social status. The leading Neoplatonists, Marius Victorinus, converts to Christianity casting Augustine into skepticism and doubt. Circumstances of His Conversion in Milan Augustine reaches the pinnacle of his profession, has wealth, popularity, friends, a villa, but is dissatisfied. “panting after honors, profits, and marriage”
July 386 Converted Easter 387 Baptized by Ambrose 388 Rome to write Returns to Thagaste 3 years of contemplative & literary retirement 391 Becomes presbyter 395 Elected Bishop of Hippo 430 Dies 39 years of ministry Timeline After Conversion No longer merely a philosopher-Christian, concerned with the dialectic of the interior search for God, now he was also a pastor, who had to turn his attention increasingly to the Scriptures and their exposition and to the practical problems of the churches in North Africa. retreat
Monica - don’t underestimate the effect of a faithful mother on the history of Christianity Never give up on the conversion of a lost person God was able to use Augustine’s bad past for the good of the church Lessons from the Life of Augustine
1.Polemicist 2.Preacher 3.Episcopal Administrator 4.Theologian 5.Philosopher Augustine’s Areas of Influence