Download Augustine: a guide for the perplexed by James Wetzel PDF

By James Wetzel

ISBN-10: 1847061958

ISBN-13: 9781847061959

ISBN-10: 1847061966

ISBN-13: 9781847061966

This can be a student's advisor to the existence and paintings of Augustine; a notoriously difficult philosopher, broadly learn in Philosophy and Christian Theology. The publication offers a concise and coherent evaluate of Augustine, introducing the entire key ideas and issues, and is perfect for undergraduates who require greater than only a uncomplicated advent to his paintings and notion.

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Additional info for Augustine: a guide for the perplexed

Example text

Gellius describes having been on board ship with a famous Stoic who turned pale with fright when a powerful storm started to rage. After the seas had calmed, Gellius asked the sage why he blanched at the prospect of losing what was not his choice to retain. The Stoic explained that everyone is subject to involuntary impressions (Φαντασι′αι) of imminent loss or gain—these come too quickly to be helped; the person of wisdom, however, knows to consent only to what is truly of value in any given situation: the opportunities for virtue.

The play between grace and sin, like light and shadow, infuses the time-defined world, in some sense creates it. But there is an ambiguity in Augustine’s eschatology. Does he think that our human conception of the good remains perpetually open to revision over time, or does he subscribe to a largely fixed conception that awaits a final, extra-temporal fulfillment? If the latter, then Augustine would likely be identifying Christianity—or at least his version of it—with the form of the good. God would have to supply form with substance (the divine selfoffering), but Augustine and his church should be able to establish the right environment for the reception of an interior grace.

He ended up liking Faustus and even admired him for how open and unassuming he could be about the limits of his learning. But those limits surprised Augustine. Faustus had a conventional but hardly deep knowledge of the liberal arts—some Cicero and Seneca, a smattering of poetry, good rhetorical skills. 23 AUGUSTINE: A GUIDE FOR THE PERPLEXED “It is indeed possible for someone ignorant of the arts to have a grip on spiritual truth, but not,” Augustine wryly notes (conf. ” When Augustine took his leave of both Faustus and Carthage and headed, at age 30, for Rome and new philosophical frontiers, the impression we are left with as readers of the Confessions is that he was leaving most of his Manichean craziness behind him.

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Augustine: a guide for the perplexed by James Wetzel

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