Augustine of Hippo: Lust, Love, and the Life Eternal
No other thinker has been more lavishly praised—or more harshly blamed—for all that is “right” and “wrong” with the Western tradition than Augustine of Hippo. Born into a middle-class family in Roman North Africa, he lived to see the beginning of the collapse of Roman political power. His life embraced the conflicts and extremes of his time. He was African and Roman, provincial and cosmopolitan, a confessed sexual “profligate,” a monogamous “husband,” a passionate celibate, an intellectual adventurer, and a definer of Christian orthodoxy. This eight-week survey traces three themes that dominate Augustine’s work—the concepts of sin and salvation, sex within and outside of marriage, and the relationship between the Church and civil society. This course uses Confessions, Augustine’s account of his conversion to Catholic Christianity, to explore the foundations of his ethics, his efforts to prevent a split between married and celibate Christians, and his vision of life on earth and in the heavenly city. No prior knowledge of religion or philosophy necessary for this course.
You'll Walk Away with
- An understanding of the social and political world in which Augustine lived
- Familiarity with the controversies and debates that helped to define Christianity
- All members of the community—working, retired, and in-between
- The curious and creative