Date of Award

Spring 1950

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Philosophy

Abstract

St. Augustine was born November 13, 354 A.D. at Thagaste, an episcopal city of Numidia, North Africa. He was reared in an age of formidable heresies and in a place that they were rampant. In this age he stood out as a bulwark for the Church against the inroads of heresies and as a defender of the Church. He stood out, no merely as the Church's great defender, but as the keen discriminator between Christianity and all the cunning similations of heresy. Willfully he would never go wrong. He was the first great Christian philosopher. That there were true thinkers before his day who were Christians, and also could be styled philosophers is not to be denied, and yet it was Augustine who first wrought out a real synthesis of Christian wisdom as combined with what was true and best in the richest elements of Greek philosophy. Augustine's chief concern was God and in the omnipotence, eternity and immutabulity of God the ultimate solution to his greatest problem. He wrote fifteen books on the Trinity. His great aim was to strengthen the Church's position and to do this he attacked her enemies and assailants.

He refuted and battled the heresies that were rampant at the time. He vigorously assailed Arianism, Manicheanism, the Donatist, and the Pelageans. Augustine's is not a system nor a method. It is a spirit which stems from the intuitive wisdom of such a great personality. The love of God and of charity are the ultimate source of the Augustinian spirit. He begins with the soul and ends with God. His chief aim was to ward off the attacks of the enemies of the Church and to strengthen the Church's position and thus his method and approach will be different than that of Thomas.

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