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“Shall it (the happy life) be that of the philosophers, who put forward as the chief good, the good which is in ourselves? Is this the true good? Have they found the remedy for our ills? Is man’s pride cured by placing him on an equality with God?”
— Pascal, Pensēes, #430.
“Salvation, such as it shall be in the world to come,…

The problem of power is one of perennial interest and importance in human life, but at no period in history has it presented itself with greater urgency and insistence than in the days of St. Augustine. For, during his manhood, the Empire, which for so many centuries had guarded the frontiers of organized society, was tottering to its fall. Everywhere…

When the Visigoths sacked Rome in 410, the city that had taken the world captive had fallen into captivity. The event was a transformative moment in Western history. It marked the final eclipse of antiquity and the beginning of late antiquity. Rome’s sacking also shattered the emergent idea of imperium Christianum, the idea that Rome had a special role in the…

Justice is an integral theme in Augustine’s political theology, and justice is directly correlated and contingent upon his theology of love.  True justice, for Augustine, begins with the love of God (and thereby extending to love of others since the love of others is the ultimate expression of love of God; the two commandments that embody the whole of the…

For Christians, rituals of sacrament are visible and affective signs of the presence of God.   Augustine defines a sacrament as an outward sign of an inward grace. Sacraments are understood as a form of mediation, a way by which the divine is made present in and for individuals. For most Christian sects, Communion or the Rite of the Last Supper…

Liu Xiaobo was the Chinese dissident writer and 2010 Nobel Peace Prize recipient who passed away this past June. He died of liver cancer while serving out the eleven-year sentence he received in 2009 for his role in the Charter 08 movement that modeled itself after the Charter 68 movement of dissidents of communism in Czechoslovakia. Liu’s work promoting freedom…

The foundational texts and practices of the liberal arts developed in a classicist culture valuing logic, universality, essentialism, and an unchanging human nature with its corresponding account of human flourishing and excellence. Our own culture, on the other hand, is thoroughly empirical and historicist, values method over logic, particularity over universality, and contingent conditioning over static human nature. As a…

What I have been proposing so far has been a paradigm for the multiversity to adopt for its students, faculty, and administrators: to pursue truth instead of disseminating it; to acquire the ability of how to learn rather than showing how to teach; and compelling the various communities that compose the multiversity to answer the question what type of human…

In my previous two essays, I wrote about how the ideas of periagoge and phronesis could be incorporated into the multiversity’s understanding of itself: an emphasis on how to learn and pursue truth by adopting dialectics, theoretical insight, and practical knowledge for students, faculty, and administrators. Although these ideas run contrary to the management-speak of the multiversity, they do possess…

The writings of Augustine analyzed by Voegelin and Jonas have to do with the transformative liberation of the human race from the disorientation and cupidity due to sin through divine grace. Eric Voegelin refers frequently to a myth in St Augustine’s Enarrationes in Psalmos 64(65) that, in its lovely compactness, expresses a complete philosophy (and theology, I might add) of…