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Confessions Of St Augustine Essay

961 words - 4 pages

1) AUGUSTINE

Saint Augustine was born in Roman Africa in year 354 and became bishop from year 396 until he died in 430. He was considered a major Christian figure for the Western Church; however, this was not achieved easily as Augustine passed through transformations and struggles in order to lead a religious and unworldly life. In his book, he elaborates and explains his confessions based on the person he used to be, describing a very important turning point in his life. There are several themes associated with his confessions, including the origin of evil and the wicked nature of man; free will vs. fate & destiny; internal struggle and domination of sexual nature and finally, his ...view middle of the document...

Hence, Augustine concluded that evil comes from free will, which leads to the second theme.
The second theme in Augustine’s Confessions relates to free will versus fate & destiny. Augustine clearly states that he was a sinner because he willed to do so and not because he was destined to. He also discusses the sin of Adam, stating that he was expelled from the Garden of Eden because he freely committed the sin and not because it was his fate. Therefore, human wills are the causes of human actions not fate & destiny and so he rejects that “all things come by fate”. Augustine also believes that God’s knowledge is infallible and although he knows all things before they come to pass, we still have free wills to choose our acts. These acts, as Augustine describes, should be caused by morality and virtue, emphasizing human responsibility. Additionally, Augustine believes that faith precedes reason as the Truth cannot be discovered by reason alone hence faith & reason are both needed.
One of the most important themes in Augustine’s Confessions is his internal struggle and domination of his sexual nature. His struggle started at the age of 19 and lasted for nine years, when he was 28. In his book, Augustine confesses that he was led astray as he was “plunging” himself “more and more into sin”. He explains that the root of his misery was that he was blind; he could not see true beauty or virtue. In one of his confessions, Augustine refers to a mistress whom he loved dearly, but when she left him he couldn’t help but take another mistress. In spite of deriving so much pleasure in life, he could not find happiness and he calls his indulgence in sensual pleasure sickness; this marks the...

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