Augustine and Dante on Sin, Virtue, and Agency

“Here I saw people more numerous than before, onone side and the other, with great cries rollingweights by the force of their chests” (Inferno 7.25-27)”The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill man’s heart. We have to imagine Sisyphus happy.”—Albert Camus, The Myth of SisyphusIn Confessions, Saint Augustine defines sin as alienation from … Read moreAugustine and Dante on Sin, Virtue, and Agency

The Impossibility of Evil Without Ignorance and the Progression Toward Good

As society’s rules and ideals have changed over time, so have their definitions of evil been completely revolutionized. While today evil is something morally wrong, a violation of some universal law, it was not always seen in the same light. St. Augustine and Plato both characterized evil as simply an absence of good. Since both … Read moreThe Impossibility of Evil Without Ignorance and the Progression Toward Good

Gardens in Confessions and Decameron

She told him about…country sounds and country smells and of how fresh and clean everything in the country is. She said that heought to live there and that if he did, he would find that all his troubles were city troubles.-Nathanael West, Miss Lonelyhearts (1933)Rural areas in Western literature are pure and good, going back … Read moreGardens in Confessions and Decameron

Augustine with a Twist: The Similarities and Differences of the Political and Theological Ideas of Augustine and Luther

Martin Luther, one of the foremost leaders of the Protestant Reformation, sought to reject much of the doctrine and authority of the Catholic Church, yet many of his theological and political ideas are extremely reflective of the Catholic luminary St. Augustine. While major differences do exist between Augustine and Luther in some areas, especially the … Read moreAugustine with a Twist: The Similarities and Differences of the Political and Theological Ideas of Augustine and Luther

Argument Against Augustine

In Augustine’s Confessions, he has an internal conflict about his hesitation to convert to Christianity. He claims to disagree with the Manichean ways and beliefs, and lists his reasons why in several passages. The subject of these passages is about will, specifically complete and incomplete wills. However, one of his arguments about this concept makes … Read moreArgument Against Augustine

Language and the Path to Conversion

In St. Augustine’s Confessions, language was necessary on Augustine’s path to conversion, but also caused him to deviate from the same path. By being able to speak and read, Augustine first learned about God, while his final conversion in the garden at Milan involved hearing a child chanting and reading a passage from the Bible. … Read moreLanguage and the Path to Conversion