A Brief Note On The Confessions Of Saint Augustine

Words: 1884
Pages: 8

Saint Augustine:
How he fused Classical culture (i.e., both Stoicism and Platonism) with Christianity

In Augustine’s day there were many religions available to choose from some of which had many gods. St. Augustine was born to a pagan father and a Christian mother. He lived a life of immorality until his early thirties when he suddenly took a new path. During his upbringing his parents began to instill their beliefs and way of living which he later began to question. Though his mother taught and raised him as a Christian he did not fully accept the faith. Instead, during his education, he became fascinated with the writings of the great philosophers such as Plato. The ideas expressed in the writings of the great philosophers, such as
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As Saint Augustine recalls his childhood he remembers how he lured to fill his day with “fruitless pastimes” and goes on to remark that, “the soul that is blinded by wicked passions is far from you and cannot see your face.”6 This example is an obvious allusion to Platonist concepts. To Augustine being with God is the true reality and anything away from God would be the false reality. As he moves on to a later point in his life, one of lust and adolescence, he continues to use this same paradigm. As a youthful adolescent Augustine is warned by his mother not to commit the sin of fornication. Augustine reflects on the vices he had given into as a youth he states that, “a pall of darkness hung between and the bright light of your truth, my God.”7 The light of truth is a direct reference to the Platonist view of a true reality. As Augustine moves on he continues to allude to Platonist concepts. Like I had mentioned previously, Augustine moved to Carthage when he was a young man to begin his studies. This is also the point and time when he is first exposed to and influenced by the works of the great philosophers and the Manicheans. At this time Augustine came to find truth in his studies on philosophy but as he reflects upon this in his Confessions he rebukes what had been impressed upon him as, “mock realities.” Augustine goes on to make