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Today, we concluded the autobiographical portion of Augustine’s Confessions. Most colleges courses covering this book would normally stop here, but we will continue with the rest of the books.
It is interesting, as one person put it, that when he went seminary in his late 30’s, he was surrounded by young 20-year olds straight out of college. When it came to reading Augustine’s Confessions, many of the young people found it a bit boring and less applicable; however, the handful of older people in the class felt a deeper connection while reading the book because they went through the same struggles, experiences, and questions as Augustine had but afraid to share them with others. So I guess when you re-read Confessions later on in your life, the deeper the connection you feel with Augustine.
We discussed whether or not traditional “biblical” gender roles still apply till this day, as well as how Protestants uphold the doctrine of Sola Scriptura and some problems it has in today’s context; the use and abuse of relics in the Church in history; Augustine’s Neoplatonic view of the afterlife after his vision or epiphany with his mother Monica; and Mike (not written here) talked about whether or not salvation was conditional or unconditional – the Bible seems ambivalent in some respects with the issue.
Our essays can be found here.
We conclude Book IX of Confessions as Augustine describes his time in the seaport of Ostia, near Rome, around 387 AD.
He had been baptized in the spring and headed south in the summer with a small company of friends and family. They had intended to return to Africa and form a community for prayer, study, and the service of God. But when they arrived, the Mediterranean Sea was sealed off as both the Eastern and Western emperors fought one another and the usurper Maximus.
Here, in the latter half of the book, he recounts his last memories of his mother Monica.