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Augustine (Thought-Epistemology)
Paul Jang  2008-04-09 02:09:01, hit : 3,589
Download : Augustine_(Thought_Epistemology).doc (20.4 KB)

Augustine (Thought-Epistemology).

II. Survey of Augustine's Thought


◉ From Philosophy to Knowledge Based on Faith

1. The Conversion and Change of Thinking

(1) In childhood with his mother, Monica and his father.
(2) At nineteen he was drawn to philosophy;
1) knowledge (the surface of things to the essence).

2) Manichaean-Gnostic pseudo knowledge (skepticism).

3) Neo-Platonism-Plotinus (spiritual reality and corporeal existence).

(3) His conversion was the turning point. (33 years old)

1) What was new, objectively original came to Augustine only with Christianity, but

① remained in the area of rational thinking.
② still philosophical thought

2) Conversion was the foundation of Augustinian thinking based on faith, which is given by God.

(4) What did the conversion mean?

1) neither awakening through Cicero
2) nor the spiritualizing of his thinking through Plotinus.
3) standing on solid ground- the Church and the Bible.

4) Now all that mattered was obedience to God, interpreted as obedience to the authority of the Church.

5) The consequence of the conversion was baptism.

(5) No longer was he a cosmopolitan individual guided by the Stoic logos, but a citizen of the City of God, guided by the logos that is Christ on the cross.

2. Philosophical Ideas and a Thinking Based on Faith
in Revelation

(1) Philosophical passion into a passion of faith.
(2) The essence of thinking (knowledge based on faith).
(3) Philosophical dogma becomes Church dogma.
(4) Yet everything is suffused with (a new, strange blood.
A few examples:

A. Augustine's thinking is directed toward God.

(1) The Manichaean God, is a fantastic myth.
(2) The Neo-platonic One is a vain and no pledge of truth.
(3) Augustine first found peace in the Biblical God
(4) The old philosophical ideas became instruments.
(5) Thinking is a way to elucidate what faith.
(6) The Bible is his guiding thread, a anchor for thoughts,

B. Augustine took over the philosophy of Plotinus.

(1) Judgments of the Stoics and Epicureans were negative.
(2) He seldom mentions Aristotle. no knowledge of Plato.
(3) He agreed with Plotinus about the fundamental structure.
(4) Plotinus' One emanates spirit, world-soul, matter in an eternal cycle. (Emanation theory - NeoPlatonism)

3. The Development of Augustine's Thinking

(1) A process by which he grew into the vast totality of Christian, Catholic, ecclesiastical existence.

(2) Augustine's thinking changed by the Church's struggle.
(3) His knowledge based on faith against pagan philosophy and the heresies.

(4) Clarity brings depth. Lucid discourse leads faith to full awareness of itself.

1) The nature of God and of evil is clarified in the polemics against the Manichaeans;

2) freedom and grace, original sin and redemption, are clarified in the controversy against Pelagius and the Pelagians;

3) the catholicity of the Church against schismatics, specifically the Donatists.
4) The nature of the Church is clarified in Augustine's justification of the Church against pagans.

5) His doctrine of free will is almost entirely lost in his doctrine of grace.

(5) Looking back, he becomes aware of past errors.

1) At the end of his life he wrote the Retractationes, in which he considers his writings in chronological order and subjects them to a detailed self-criticism from the standpoint of Church dogma.

2) He expressly disavows his former agreement with Plotinus. But above all, his evaluation of philosophy had changed completely.

3) As a young man he had set rational thinking at the summit.

(6) Philosophy has lost its validity. Biblical-theological thinking is all-important of the whole system.



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