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SMC103Y1 Lecture Notes - Jewish Christian, Tertullian, Creator Deity

St. Michael's College Courses
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Smc 208 lec 8 oct 4
We move from the eastern society (the greek)
o Now we move into the western society (latin)
Latin society
o Very strong probability that peter and paul died as matryes in rome
o Rome was a greek speaking church
o Beginning of latin Christian literature is associated with the church of latin Africa
o Earliest translation of the bible took place in Africa in 2nd cent. But it wasn’t very good
o Great latin Christian theologian was Tertullian who live din northern Africa
o Great bishops was cyprium
Augustine of Hippo 354-430 in thagaste (today its Nigeria)
o Mom was Christian and dad was not (but was baptised before he died)
o He was not baptized as an infant
Why? Because there was no confession at this time and the idea was made that people should be
let to grow up(esp boys) and become a bit more mature and she knew he would sin etc and then it
would be his choice to be baptised (just like the first process of the catechumate)
o He was a roman/latin person
o The parents wanted him(like really wanted him) to really pursue edu
o At age of 17 he goes to carthage; his edu from the beginning was focused on languages/literature; 2 of his
fav authors are virgil and cicero
o According to augustine adolescent brought about sexual sin, sexual lust, desire etc
Augustine had a son named adeodatus
At age of 19 he read by Cicero called horteusius (it was stoic argument on how important
philosophy was and about wisdom and how material items wont get you anything and the only
thing that will get you somewhere was knowing wisdom); his reading of this was a start of a
conversion(not Christian conversion but just a conversion of wanting to seek more)
Augustine was shocked that there was no mention to Christ in cicero’s book and he
thought wisdom was related to Christ; so he sought out to the latin bible but it was very
good “so he puts the bible aside” but still had a desire for understanding of life and his
vision; then Augustine came around a “manism religion”
Mani born in 216; his family belonged to jewish Christian group and so this fellow was exposed to
all these religious ideas and at the age of 12 he had a revelation which was repeated when he was
24 and he was called to correct the revelations to the Buddha and jesus etc his religion was in many
His religion was key on evil and it was an attempt to explain evil
Mani’s solution = 2 gods; one evil one good; good was greater than evil and he symbolized
them as light vs darkness
He sees three moments of genesis of this meet: in the begining darkness and light were
separate but then darkness invades light but doesn’t overcome it; light struggles back
against darkness and this is is the moment where we are living and in the end times light
and darkness will be separated again like the beginning.
His religion was like dualism (two different forces); it connects light and goodness with the
spirit and evilness with matter
o Creator god is not the higher god
They read the bible in literal way
His followers were divided into two groups
o Elect; special function and freeing of the light; also celibacy and vegetarianism
o Hearers; second level, they can marry b./c they are incapable of being the first
group (elect) and they serve the elect; they can’t have kids, they feel that they will
die and then be reincarnated as an elect
Augustine then felt that the sexual desires he was having was because of darkness and evil
that was within him
o He is incomparable on his influence on western society
o Bonaventure (Franciscan theologian) was deeply Augustinian in his theology and Thomas Aquinas too
o Both luther and calvin appeal to Augustine
o Much of his writing was response to his position as bishop and response to his arguments and conflicts that
he had to deal with as a bishop
o He comes back to alot is the 1st 3 chapters of gensis (creation, humanity, sin)
Relating to this he talks about sin with evil and creation with humanity
Where does evil come from? What does god have to do with evil?
o He sees the church as not the pure
o Most famous of his debates was his debate with Pelagius which came to be called pelagianism
Pelagius said all u needed was will power and that, god has shown us the way to act and humans
had to just do it; Augustine said its impossible, that humanity is weakened by sin and that we need
god’s grace in order to get the power to do what god has called us to do
From this freedom conflicts with grace and then predestination comes up into conflict
o U could say Augustine bcame the teacher and doctor on grace (his most distinctive teacher)
In doing this he rediscovers paul or romans and Galatians
o Wrote major book on trinity which was different considering he mostly wrote on issues he faced as bishop
and things hed go through
There was no big debate on the trinity at this point
But he tried to bring the biblical material and tried to find analogies within ourselves to find things
that would related to the trinity (love, knowledge etc)
o Became bishop in 396 and began to start writing his book the confessions
The confessions (reading for this week; books 7+8)
o Total of 13 books
o Last 3 contain interpretation of genesis 1-3
o In 7 he solves the problem of intellectual problems
o In 8 solves the problems of his will
City of god 413-427 (long time to write a book)
o 1000 pages