Essay about The Confessions of Saint Augustine

Submitted By avanip
Words: 357
Pages: 2

Born and raised in Thagaste, in eastern Algeria (then part of the Roman empire), Augustine enters a social world that he now sees as sinful to the point of utter folly. Grade school teaches questionable pursuits with misguided aims, and everywhere boys like Augustine are trained to devote themselves to transient, material pursuits rather than to the pursuit of God. As a student in Thagaste and then Carthage, Augustine runs amok in sexual adventures and false philosophies (most notably Manicheism). He sees this period of his life primarily as a lesson in how immersion in the material world is its own punishment of disorder, confusion, and grief.The young Augustine does, however, catch a passion for the pursuit of Philosophical truth, learning the doctrines of Manicheism, skepticism, and Neoplatonism. This last philosophy will have a profound influence on him-- the Confessions are perhaps the most masterful expression of his intricate fusion of Catholic theology with Neoplatonic ideas. Moving back to Thagaste, then back to Carthage again, and on to Rome and Milan, Augustine continues to wrestle with his doubts about what he has learned and with his budding interest in Catholicism, the faith of his mother, Monica. He also continues to pursue his career as a teacher of rhetoric (an occupation he later frowns upon as the salesmanship of empty words) and his habits of indulgence in sex and other pleasures of the sensual world. Things change in Milan, where Augustine finally…