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Lecture 2

PHL205 Lecture 2 - Augustine.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Dominic Martin

PHL205 September 15, 2011 Lecture #2 KEY DATES IN AUGUSTINE’S LIFE Augustine’s Autobiography-  you should never trust someone writing an autobiography, they give the illusion that they are way more goal oriented and driven than they really are.  His book projects his life long struggle coming to christianity  354 born in Tagaste o Very small town in South Africa o His mother’s name is Monica  371 studies rhetoric at Carthage, later teacher at Carthage o was sent by a rich family friend to study in carthage (not his father) o you study rhetoric for law, because you need to be a very good speaker o he later taught Rhetoric in Carthage  383 Moves to Rome o City of Rome was an important centre o Not political centre, that was in Milan o Still significant though, there was still the old capitol buildings and congress in Rome. o Taught in Rome for a short while, built was miserable there due to the attitudes of the students  384 Teaches Rhetoric at Milan o very high top job teaching o  July 386: The Garden event (baptized 387) o He converts to Christianity o Stops teaching  396 Becomes Bishop of Hippo o Same place where he was born o Was elected Bishop o Did most of his writings here (350 works) o Hippo was not a very important town religiously, but was important to Augustine in Time  397/8 Writes the Confessions  430 died in Hippo while the city was besieged by the Vandals o in Western Europe 4 5 Century Vandals invaded, and where known to destroy everything they conquered o that is why a lot of writings from his time are no unavailable AUGUSTINE’S INTELLECTUAL DEVELOPMENT (ACCORDING TO THE CONFESSIONS) Covers his intellectual development, refers to many different books his reads His motif for writing intellectual trajectory  Studies classical literature and rhetoric  Cicero’s Hortensius o One of the books that was lost o Book is about something more important in life  Where does life come from  What is nature of things etc. etc.  Bible o Not surprising because his mother is a Christian o Very frustrated reading the Bible  Certain things that don’t go together. Contradictory   Manichaeism o Very popular during his time in the Roman Empire o Books 3-5 in the confessions is about his engagement with manicheanism o Called manichean’s because they worshiped Mani o Introduction to dualism – principle of light vs principle of darkness o They are probably central to Augustine because they represent everything that is wrong with Bible.  There is a spiritual sense, and a literal sense.  They stand for him as a wrong way to interpret scripture.  Skepticism (academic Skepticism) o Between the Bible and Manicheans, it brought Augustine to this way of thinking  Platonism o Unlike Manichaeism, seemed to be telling something about how things are  And about the principle of things o The they Augustine saw was, that they were so arrogant, he began to question them  Final conversion to Christianity Overall Augustine considers himself an intellectual developer  He views th
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