Augustine of Hippo: A Life by Henry Chadwick

By Henry Chadwick

The existence and works of Augustine of Hippo (354-430) have formed the advance of the Christian Church, sparking controversy and influencing the information of theologians via next centuries. His phrases are nonetheless usually quoted in devotions in the course of the international Church this present day. His key issues keep a remarkable modern relevance - what's the position of the Church on the earth? what's the relation among nature and beauty?

Augustine's highbrow improvement is mentioned with readability and heat during this newly rediscovered biography of Augustine, as interpreted via the acclaimed church historian, the overdue Professor Henry Chadwick. Augustine's highbrow trip from schoolboy and scholar to Bishop and champion of Western Christendom in a interval of extreme political upheaval, is narrated in Chadwick's usually rigorous but sympathetic sort.

With a foreword by means of Peter Brown reflecting on Chadwick's exact method of Augustine.

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17). ‘Under the sway of passion man is as uncontrollable as a flash flood or hot wax’ (EP 57. 16–20). Unlike Thagaste or Madauros, Carthage was part of the great world of high culture. Since the occupation of North Africa by Muslim Arabs, more than two centuries after Augustine’s lifetime, a cultural and religious gulf has existed between the north and south sides of the Mediterranean lake. This was not at all the case three centuries before the Arabs when Augustine was at school. From Libya to Morocco prosperous provinces of the Roman empire exported grain, wine, and olive oil.

He gave in his name for instruction preparatory for baptism, and declined the offer of the Roman clergy of a private ceremony to spare any blushes (something we often, they explained, arrange for prominent personages). The moral of Simplician’s story was not lost on Augustine. Meanwhile Augustine was joined at Milan by others from home—Alypius (still a loose Manichee adherent), Monnica herself, anxious to be close to him now her other children were grown up, and another clever friend from Carthage named Nebridius, a man with an inquiring mind especially in religion, who ‘hated a short answer to a great question’.

Shortly before the fever seized her, she had had a presentiment of the proximity of death and told Augustine that, since his baptism, her work was done; she did not need to live further, and could happily say her Nunc dimittis. At a high climax of the Confessions (9. 10. 23–5) Augustine describes, in a passage of exquisite prose with reminiscences of Plotinus how, two or three days before the fever attacked her, Monnica and he were speaking together of the soul’s ascent beyond all earthly things, to the realms beyond space and time where there is no successiveness 38 cassiciacum and the death of monnica of past and future but an eternal Now.

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