Humanities 220, Professor Easton

note organizer for Augustine's Confessions

What is Augustine's legacy?

1. Denunciation of "the flesh": 45 (bath house sign); 55 (hissing cauldron; hell's black river); 65 (perverted lust); 120-123 (Alypius); 128-129 (disease of the flesh); 131 (sinning more and more); 151 (habit); 164 (conflict of wills); 169 ("Give me chastity . . . but not yet); 171 (attempt to control will); beckoned by Continence (175).

2. Theology of "original sin": 27 & 28 (sins of babies); 40 (humility of children); 102 (original sin).

3. Neo-platonic conception of an unchanging, transcendent god: 61 (mock realities); 62-63, 114 (false material conceptions of God); 64 (justice unchanging); 80, 83, 85 (beauty vs. beautiful things); 81 (reflection on the Logos, the Word); 84 (can't comprehend helmsman); 133 (constant is greater than changeable); 137 (incorruptible is greater than corruptible); 147 (eternal truths); 150 (light hateful to sore eyes); 154 (truth is incorporeal).

4. Blending of philosophy and religion (Cicero; Aristotle; neoplatonists; application of reason)

5. Creating autobiography as a spiritual model.

Education and Influences:

Virgil, 33-34.

Greek language difficult, 35.

Traditional stories, 36.

Rules of grammar (vs. "real rules"), 39.

Study of rhetoric, 45.

Poorly chosen friends (pears), 47.

Theatre, 55

Cicero, 58; better than scriptures, 60.

Manichees (light vs. darkness; spirit fighting material; particles of God emerging from light released from vegetables), 67

Astrology, 73; disproved through Firmius, 141

Telling fortunes by opening poetry at random, 74

Faustus, 92; pleasant eloquence, 97; ignorant of science, 98.

Unruly Carthaginian students, 100

Unruly Roman students, 106

Ambrose: read the bible figuratively, 108

Limitations of reason and intellect, 118-117

Neoplatonists contain message of Gospel of John, except the incarnation, 144

Paul, Romans, Gift of Grace, 155

Voice of a child, 177 (fig tree)

Opens Bible at random, Romans 13, 178

Questions of Good and Evil:

Augustine wonders why an omnipotent God did not destroy evil, 139.

Augustine concludes, whatever is, is good, 148.

Evil is not a substance. What we call "evil things" are things "at variance with other things," 148-149.