Download Augustine: a guide for the perplexed by James Wetzel PDF

By James Wetzel

This can be a student's advisor to the lifestyles and paintings of Augustine; a notoriously not easy philosopher, generally learn in Philosophy and Christian Theology. The e-book presents a concise and coherent evaluate of Augustine, introducing all of the key options and subject matters, and is perfect for undergraduates who require greater than only a easy creation to his paintings and concept.

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Sample text

There are great riches there, and I have given you a treasure map of sorts in the lists of suggested readings that appear at the end of the book. I have annotated all the individual items and arranged them under headings to give you some idea, admittedly rudimentary, of the structure of Augustinian studies. Please don’t assume that the books listed are just the best books, whatever best might mean, or that they are a fully representative sampling of what’s out there. The field of Augustinian studies is too vast and too diverse to represent succinctly, and I have had to leave off many worthy titles.

If I start to worry more about my time and less about my virtue, I risk becoming enamored with false images of my life’s perfection. To take an example dear to the heart of ancient moralists, I may come to mortgage my power of self-determination to a craving for fame. Suppose that I do something fantastically memorable: I defeat an enemy in battle who was by all odds destined to defeat me. If others assume that I did so by virtue of my ingenuity or courage and not just by dumb luck, then I will win their admiration and my whole life may come to be associated in their minds with that defining moment of glory.

When Augustine took his leave of both Faustus and Carthage and headed, at age 30, for Rome and new philosophical frontiers, the impression we are left with as readers of the Confessions is that he was leaving most of his Manichean craziness behind him. The assumption that had once given him leave to move from Cicero to Mani had become weak and untrustworthy. No longer could he confidently assume that soul-satisfying wisdom is the fruit of intellectual sophistication, enthusiastically culled from any available source.

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