EYES OF , 1. AUGUSTINE OF A. Life Born in Tagaste () in 354; of in Roman for 35 years; lived during the decline of Western Roman on that continent; died in 430, aged 76, with the at the gates of Hippo (Rome had fallen in 410). Stands at a watershed in the of western thought, between the classical world of the and the Middle Ages. Bridges the gap between ancient pagan Rome and the Christian middle ages. Enormous influence on Western , helped form as a whole. Considered the greatest of the Fathers of the Western . “You are famous throughout the whole world; Catholics venerate and look upon you as a second founder of the old faith*, and — a token of yet more illustrious — all the heretics detest you. They persecute me too with equal hatred….” (, Ep. 195). “The great luminary of the is, as we know, St. Augustine; he, no infallible teacher, has formed the intellect of Europe” (Newman: Apologia, Fontana, 1959, p. 296.) “an extraordinary sense of the glory and of the misery of man” (H. Chadwick, 1) B. Career Mother, Monica, a Christian; father, Patricius, Roman, baptised on deathbed. schoolboy, keen on , sponsored to university in at seventeen, took a concubine, spent dissipated , had son. Specialised in , found primitive, and became Manichee, attracted by dualism between and and explanation/ of his . Became disillusioned intellectually, developed highly successful academic career, appointed to chair of for the imperial court at in 384, aged thirty. Became Neo-Platonist. Intellectually impressed by , bishop of Milan. Garden and . Returned to Africa with friends to form a lay celibate Christian commune in Tagaste. Son died aged 17. Persuaded to become , later bishop of Hippo, a busy seaport, for 34 years, heading a monastic community. A formidable polemicist. C. Writings Two outstanding masterpieces: [Conf], describing his emotional, intellectual and moral conversion (later interpretation?); The City of [CG]. In A.D. 410, Goths sacked Rome, and some Roman émigrés wondered if abandonment of heathenism was to blame. Augustine took fifteen years in writing City of God, providing a Christian understanding of history and a moral explanation of the failure of the Roman Empire. Very busy pastorally with regular popular , detailed meditative scripture commentaries (e.g. John) and frequent letters. Highly influential theological treatments (, , Church, , grace, , ) Engaged in ongoing controversies (Manicheans, Arians, , ), hammering out his own theology. D. Some seminal ideas. Evil is not a power or , but the (against Manicheism). Stress on human postlapsarian depravity requiring continuous divine intervention and sovereignty of grace. Developed created grace(s) as divine aids; known as “Doctor of grace”. “just ” conditions, Against Faustus 22,74-75; City of God 19,7. Effects of sacraments unaffected by faith or worthiness of minister (: from the deed done). Psychological model of the Blessed Trinity. Threefold “” of , offspring, fidelity, (indivisibility), needed to justify intercourse, which is morally suspect. Use of power to enforce orthodox beliefs. (“edge” of ) for children dying unbaptized in (“minimal ”). Divine of all human . E. . As trinitarian theology was developing, especially in Council of Constantinople (381) and later, were sought to help understand (not prove) the mystery of how three “” could be united in one divine “” (, 2-3c.). Can start from Three (East), or from One (Augustine), proposing the famous psychological : If we are created in the image of one God, are there traces in humanity which can provide us with a clue to what the triune God, our origin, is like? Augustine’s final suggestion was that everyone has one spiritual or , but this has three distinct activities: our , our understanding and our . So, is God in his inner life something/anything like that?. F. Controversies: On Donatism. Who are members of the Church if it is to be “without spot or wrinkle” (Eph 5.27)? After Catholicism accepted by state, Donatus (d. 355), bishop of Carthage, led a large rigorist and aggressive schismatic church in Africa. Opposed re- admitting lapsed members, and denied the validity of their sacraments. Augustine first tried to reconcile them: pleading that the church be one and universal, open to all, including penitent sinners; and insisting that is divine minister of the sacraments (ex opere operato), Then he requested, and supported, “compelling” policy against Donatists, citing Lk 14.23 – a dangerous precedent. “Dilige et quod vis fac” ( and do what you want) (Ep. Jo 7,8). Not a “situation ” slogan (as Fletcher): genuine love leads to the right action. On Pelagianism. (c.360 – c.420), theologian and greatly admired ascetic lay from Roman Britain. “Ponderous and stuffed with Scots’ porridge” (Jerome). Had travelled in monasteries in the East, so was highly positive theologically on and its moral resources. An exemplary, vocal and influential reformer in lax Roman court and high circles, full of “converts” after Emperor Theodosius had outlawed and imposed (non-Arian) . Pelagius appalled to hear in Rome Augustine’s refrain which Pelagius considered moral mollycoddling: “grant what you command, and command whatever you want” (da quod iubes, et iube quod vis). Pelagius furiously insisted on and successful human effort in observing all the Commandments, without taking refuge in excuses, or undermining moral effort, especially in a Church full of mediocre “converts”. Pelagius maintained that ’s sin injured only himself, not the human race or infants, and that all humans are capable of acting well naturally and without needing grace. The human will needs no divine remedy or supercharger. Gathered many supporters. Augustine wrote often and at length to refute the Pelagians (hence his later , “Doctor of Grace”), sharpening his own theological views (he argued that proved in original sin). Secured rejection of Pelagianism in various local African councils, especially Carthage. Finally, the general (431) condemned Pelagian views (Augustine died in 430), as did II (529) and subsequently (16th c.) on rediscovering the Augustine-dominated Council of Orange. “Pelagian” later used as term of abuse by Reformers against Catholics. “Semipelagianism” is View that the very beginning of act of faith, leading to grace of justification, is purely natural, not requiring “preceding” grace. Term first used by against Scholastic theologians in controversy over justification, used by Jansenists in 17th century against opponents as redolent of Pelagianism .G. Original sin and grace. Greatly concerned at his moral powerlessness through the “disease of concupiscence” (Conf 8.7), Augustine was deeply influenced by Paul’s letter to the Romans, especially the reflections on the sin of Adam and its disastrous consequences for all humanity. For Augustine, longing for self-control over his unruly sinful feelings, the whole human race is revealed by Paul to be a condemned throng (massa damnata) poisoned from the start along with sinful Adam and . “The of sin which dwells in my members” (Rom 7.23) only too readily explained for Augustine his unruly sexual desires.Consequently humans can do absolutely nothing good without God’s grace: healing us, inspiring us, helping us, elevating us, a whole armoury of created graces in the soul. Adamology. One of the major themes of Paul’s theology concerned Christ as the Second Adam, restoring creation and life: to describe Christ’s of all humanity he had to connect all the original humanity with Adam. Paul’s key comparison was, “Therefore , just as sin came into the world through one man and death came through sin, and so death spread to all because all have sinned … much more surely have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of the one man, Christ, abounded for the many” (Rom 5.12,15) The phrase “because all have sinned” translates Paul’s Greek phrase ’ω (eph ho), which literally means “since when”, or “as a result of which” all have sinned. But the of the , which Augustine and his contemporaries used (he had little Greek), translated Paul’s words eph ho as “in quo”, or “in whom all have sinned,” leading Augustine to understand that everyone born after Adam had sinned “in Adam”: “The Apostle says ‘In whom all have sinned’. ‘In whom’ can only be understood as in Adam, in whom he says they also die”. From this Augustine developed his theology of the corporate solidarity of all subsequent men and women “in” Adam, their first parent, thus involving all human beings, indeed, involving human nature as a whole, as penalised in Adam’s own fall from grace. Hence the conclusion which has held for centuries, that since Adam the whole human race is revealed by Paul to be “poisoned” from the start along with sinful , all subsequent human beings starting life as a miserable lot of sinners, what Augustine called a massa damnata, a “condemned lump”, for whom only an atoning on the part of Jesus – and the sacrament of baptism – would secure God”s forgiveness. “Hinc est universa generis humani massa damnata”, CG 21.12. Thus, the Old Latin version of the New Testament gave “an of Rom 5,12 which, though mistaken and based on a false , was to become the pivot of the of original sin”.J. N. D. Kelly, Early Christian , rev 5th ed., San Francisco, Harper 1978, 354; Cf Edward Yarnold SJ, The Theology of Original Sin, Cork, Mercier, 1971, 55: “the ‘traditional’ expression . . . [of original sin] is to a large extent that ’s thought”. “I didn’t invent original sin, which the catholic faith of old!” Augustine to Faustus (de nupt et conc 2,12,25.) Conclusion: that there are grounds to reconsider the Church’s traditional teaching on original sin and its results, which is based largely on Augustine’s hostile polemic against Pelagius. H. On Marriage How does Augustine explain how original sin and fallen human nature are transmitted to all human beings since Adam? His clear answer was, by procreation. He held that marriage was created by God and was evidently good on account of its threefold “goods” (desirable qualities) of faithfulness to one partner, producing children to worship God, and indissolubility modelled on Christ’s union with the Church. But Paul had written (1 Cor 7.6) that married couples had mutual to intercourse as “by way of concession, not of command”; which the Latin translation put as “by way of forgiveness” (veniam). Augustine concluded, “where forgiveness [venia] needs to be given, some [culpa] be presumed to exist” (De nupt et conc 1,14,16). This confirmed his conviction born of his own personal experience that all intercourse was basically the satisfying of sinful . So, only the goods of marriage, primarily the producing of offspring, could justify sexual activity, as was to be insisted by the church through the succeeding centuries until Pius XI’s 1930 Augustine-inspired , (On Chaste Marriage). Not surprising, then, that Augustine judged such lustful intercourse the appropriate means to communicate original sin and fallen nature to all Adam’s descendants. I. Famous quotations. Thou has made us for thyself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in thee, Conf 1.1; Grant me and continence, but not yet, Conf 8.7; Love, and do what you wish (Ama, et quod vis, fac), Ep 1 John 7,8; Late have I loved you, O ever ancient, ever new, late have I loved you! Conf 10.27; God does not command the impossible. He admonishes you to do what you can and to ask for what you cannot, Nat et Gr 43,50; Give what you command, and command what you want (da quod iubes, et iube quod vis), Conf 10,29.(Infuriated Pelagius); Hate the sin; love the sinner (Sermones 4.20); When God rewards our merits, he crowns his own gifts, Conf 9,34; the judgment of the whole world is reliable, Contra Epist. Parmen. III, 24; (against Donatists, influenced Newman). CF Vat II, infallibility of , LG 12; We see then that the two cities [of men and of God] were created by two kinds of love: the earthly city was created by self-love reaching the point of contempt for God, the Heavenly City by the carried as far as contempt for self, CG 14, 28). J. . Augustine moved focus of early theology from Eastern Empire to West, had dominant influence on medieval and scholastic theology, is still influential (e.g., Benedict XVI). Highlights distinction between sinful nature and grace, and faith, natural and . Continually warns against Pelagianism as a denial of the and as over-confidence in natural resources. Very pessimistic about human natural capacities and activities. K. Difficulties. Problematic areas in Augustine’s thought (Kung): “The suppression of sexuality in Western theology and the Western Church”. Personal obsessive experience biased his whole approach to sexuality: uncontrollable; only procreative; channel of original sin; “The reification of grace in [only] Western theology and piety”. Concentrated on created grace as powers in soul more powerful than nature (graces and sacraments), essential to act well. Systematic pessimism on human natural activities and achievements; “The anxiety about predestination in Western piety”. God from who will be saved – and who will not. See later on Calvin. L. Some Reading  Augustine, Works , , London 1967  Mary T. Clark, Augustine, Geoffrey Chapman, 1994  Henry Chadwick, Augustine of Hippo. A Life, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2009 [from 1981]  Hans Küng, Great Christian Thinkers, Continuum, 2006, ch.3.  Jack Mahoney, The Legacy of Augustine, in The Making of Moral Theology, Oxford, 1989, ch.2.