Concept of St. Augustine Christianity Philosophy

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St. Augustine was an important figure in history for philosophy and had many contributions throughout his career that made other important philosophers question themselves and him. We get to know St. Augustine as he tells his audience about his life and his ideas by his work while he was alive. He had written many famous books that still have an impact on today’s generation and blended philosophy and theology together. Augustine was able to accomplish many things throughout his hardships in life and had left a legacy behind.

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Growing up in the life of St. Augustine had been tough because of the suffering he had endured. Yet that didn’t stop him from pursuing his philosophical journey. Augustine was born 354 at Tagaste, now known as Souk Ahras, Algeria and was a small city that converted from Donatism (Portalié, 2017). He had died August 28, 430 at Hippo Regius, now known as Bona in Algeria. Augustine and his family were not rich, and his mom was the ideal mom because of her Christian virtues and his dad was a respected man because of his status as a Curiales (Portalié, 2017).

Augustine parents were proud of their son because he had received a Christian education learning to read and write, while also learning Greek and Latin literature (Portalié, 2017). He was attending Madaurus at the age of eleven (The Famous People, 2017). At the age of seventeen, his parents sent him to Carthage to continue his education, where he struggled to stick to his path as he was going through many temptations in the city that were half Donatism and half Pagen (Portalié, 2017). This is when his faith and morals were questioned by him. The company he was surrounded by misguided him and were being taught other things than the pursuit of God. All while doing sinful acts and following false philosophies, (SparkNotes Editors. (n.d.)). Later in Augustine’s life, he had a teaching job in Tagaste, then got offered a job to teach and stayed at for nine years in Carthage. After those nine years, Augustine then received a position as a professor in Milan, where he met someone that inspired his ideas on philosophy (The Famous People, 2017). He decided his conversion to Christianity at the age of 31. Augustine was dissatisfied with himself but had read an essay by Cicero that was about the meaning if “truth”, which had made it his goal to find out (Great Philosophers, 2015). With his struggles throughout his years with questioning his life and then his ideas, it made him want to convert his religion to Christianity. It was a turning point for Augustine. He had gained a lot of respect in Hippo Regius and soon became a priest, only to become Bishop of Hippo four years later (Shuttleworth, 2011). Augustine wrote many books but was known for the classic book named Confessions.

He writes this during his first years as a bishop. In summary, he had mastered explaining the combining of Catholic theology to Neoplatonic ideas but also have the theme of redemption (SparkNotes Editors. (n.d.)). The first nine chapters are about him and his struggle with faith and then his conversion, which then leaves the rest of the book to his focusing on the combination of religion and philosophical ideas. He wrote about his life, the sins he committed, and then returning to his grace (Steven R., 1970). The title explains the whole book, with the theme being redemption, Augustine’s purpose in writing this masterpiece was for it to inspire others to reflect on their own lives and come clean about your sins to God (Steven R., 1970), and to understand his idea of “original sin” (Why was St. Augustine so important in Christian History?, 2009). Augustine believed in the idea of morality and that human beings had free will, meaning they have the choice to obey or deviate from God’s plan (Shuttleworth, 2011). It was one of the many major ideas he was known for and had molded the way philosophers thought about the meaning of life. Morality is defined as the right and wrong or the good and bad. Without bad or wrong there wouldn’t be good and right. Augustine stated that everyone struggles with a battle within them against God (Shuttleworth,2011). He believed that moral philosophy was the goal toward happiness and that doing the right thing for the right reasons was morally ethical, not simply by acting right. Those character defenses mechanisms fuel that inner struggle and gave guidance to show what people should do and how they should behave (Shuttleworth, 2011).

Morality’s central focus was the love of God (Augustine’s Moral Philosophy: An Analysis, 2013). In this generation, we hear that money, beauty, and power is what makes people happy. Instead, Augustine would disagree with that because he says that happiness is involved with a reason (Augustine’s Moral Philosophy: An Analysis, 2013), the reason being that moral good of the character or love is the purpose to live. To some in this generation love seems to be one of the main attractions in life, but to Augustine love was the reason and it pushed us toward our desires. The invention of morality and Confessions was just the beginning to the psychologist and philosophers yet to come. Many famous philosophers had doubts or had expressed their beliefs on their idea of God, but some followed his research and ideas, Socrates stated a comment that was relevant to moral good, “ Do not do to others what angers you if done to you by others” (Great Philosophers, 2015). We learned that Socrates and Plato’s beliefs were related and so was Aristotle. Plato had written something that was called “The Form of the Good” (Great Philosophers, 2015) and it had to do with the Allegory of the cave and that analogy being about how Plato believed that the world around us was an illusion. Aristotle was a follower because he believed in the idea of “The Highest God”, making the comment “We must no more ask whether the soul and body are one than ask whether the wax and the figure impressed on it are one, giving proof that he believed in something or someone higher above (Great Philosophers, 2015).

Confucius was a Chinese philosopher that believed people were responsible for their own actions, that nature has fixed cycles, and that his philosophy involved loving others (Jeffrey Riegel, 2013). Their beliefs are almost or exactly similar to St. Augustine. Even though his beliefs were questioned, the number of philosophers following him grew over the years and will continue to grow. In conclusion, Augustine had a huge impact on history and affected the way we think of things, he was known for the first Western Philosopher. He had major contributions that included his ideas of theology and philosophical ideas combined, all while figuring out the idea of morality. Augustine’s had so many ideas and thoughts that he had to share before leaving the world. His contributions to history and philosophy make his followers believe everything he did had a purpose behind it and that what present researchers are doing now is trying to find a purpose as well while using his methods. He would’ve been proud of leaving a legacy behind even though he struggled in the process of it.

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Concept of St. Augustine Christianity Philosophy. (2021, Apr 21). Retrieved from