St. Augustine is arguably the most influential writer in Christianity's 2,000-year history, apart from the Gospel writers themselves and St. Paul.
Born in north Africa in A.D. 354, his long life (d. A.D. 430) witnesses the most dramatic century in church history. At the beginning of the 4th century Christianity is a persecuted minority religion in the Roman Empire, with roughly 10% of the population identifying themselves as Christians; by the end of the 4th century Christianity is the official religion of the Roman Empire, with roughly 90% of the population identifying themselves as Christians!
Augustine is a pivotal figure in this extraordinary age. Thoroughly steeped in the pagan, Greco-Roman culture of the Roman Empire, Augustine experiences a dramatic conversion to Christianity in the summer of 396, giving up his position as a professor of rhetoric in Milan and embracing the priesthood; in 395 he becomes bishop of Hippo, and he retains that position until his death in 430. Called by Thomas Cahill "the first medieval man and the last classical man," Augustine is deeply influenced by Aristotle, Cicero and Virgil, and his writings profoundly influence such thinkers as St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Martin Luther, John Calvin, Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard and Nietzsche.
In his Confessions (397-398)--the first Western autobiography ever written--Augustine traces his development from pagan philosopher and classical rhetorician to Christian theologian, as well as his evolution from a sinful youth to a pious, chaste priest (famously praying as a young man: "Grant me chastity and continence, but not yet!"---"da mihi castitatem et continentium, see noli modo!"). St. Augustine synthesizes classical and Christian thought, laying a foundation for virtually every philosopher and theologian who follows him.
The Confessions is a major work in the Western literary tradition, and we tackle it in our Logos Book Club. How cool is that!
We'll be reading from the Maria Boulding translation.
When & Where
Logos Bible Study