Augustine Contemplates the City of God

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From the collection of the Morgan Library & Museum comes this amazing illuminated page from De civitate Dei. If you click on it you can zoom and scan to a remarkable level of detail. The illuminations are by Girolamo da Cremona from 1475, and the Morgan describes it this way: “In the lower portion of this sumptuous [Read More...]

And The Darkness Has Not Overcome It

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By now you’ve heard the name of Martin Richard, the 8-year-old boy killed in the Boston Marathon bombing yesterday. This is Martin: This picture filled my social media and news feeds this morning, and it just hit me in the gut. My wife is a sacrament coordinator, and Martin is dressed in his first communion suit and [Read More...]

St. Augustine’s Medicine For Doubt

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I broke this discussion into two posts because I didn’t want Augustine’s greater point to get lost in his fit of pique. Instead, I want to draw your focus back to the first paragraph of the passage I cite from City of God Book 2: If only the weak understanding of the ordinary man did [Read More...]

St. Augustine is Annoyed: Or, Don’t Wrestle With a Pig

StAugustineCityOfGod

There are a number of things that draw people to St. Augustine: the power of his prose, the clarity of his faith, his humanizing struggles, and his centrality to Christian doctrine. No other saint (or, indeed, any single figure of the ancient world) left us so many words, and in these words we find an [Read More...]

The Origin of Man, Original Sin, and Why It’s All Your Fault

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On Twitter, Kyle Cupp asked the following question: I replied with a quip I use with my students: “The sin of Adam was inevitable, even if ‘Adam’ wasn’t the one who committed it. If Adam hadn’t eaten the apple, I would have.” He was, however, looking for something more specific: I have to say at [Read More...]

Sr. Boulding: “Grace was there first”

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“If you want God, and long for union with him, yet sometimes wonder what that means or whether it can mean anything at all, you are already walking with the God who comes. If you are at times so weary and involved with the struggle of living that you have no strength even to want [Read More...]

St. Augustine Asks the Hard Questions Atheists Don’t Ask UPDATED

Atheists think Christians believe this is how things really happened.

It’s fun to read or listen to super-duper-smart professional atheists (well, they think they’re smart) banging on about the book of Genesis. It’s a useful issue for them, because the primeval history in scripture is mysterious, complex, and rich in symbolism. So, naturally, Reason Warriors approach it with the childish literalism of a young-earth creationist. Perhaps this works for them [Read More...]

St. Augustine and the Jews

I concluded my semester on St. Augustine with this essay on a challenging subject: Augustine’s doctrine of Jewish witness. What follows delves deeply into difficult waters, exploring early Christian-Jewish relations and anti-Jewish polemic. The way a 4th century Christian spoke of the Jews is not the way the Church speaks of them today. Augustine’s characterization [Read More...]


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