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Here our our essays on Chapters 1 – 6 of Book III in Augustine’s Confessions.
This week, we tried to answer and explore the eternal philosophical question of “What is love?” as Haddaway expresses here.
Pretty lively discussions from our group this past muggy Thursday at Central Park.
Our essays focused on Augustine’s critique of theaters; try to answer what love is; experiences encountering the Bible; and the relationship between theology and philosophy.
In Book III, Augustine leaves for Carthage from his hometown of Thagaste and enters a place and a lifestyle in which “all around me hissed a cauldron of illicit loves.” This is a low point in Augustine’s relationship with God–turned almost entirely toward transient diversions, he seems to feel he could get no lower.
It was during this time, when he was around sixteen years old, that he hooked up with a girl and would settle down with her for the next dozen years or so. In that time, having a common-law wife or living together and even having a child together was not considered particularly immoral. The main problem would be that she had come from a lower social class that Augustine which meant that any children they had would take her lower status, not his. This would cause problems for his family who most definitely wanted him to marry a woman with a high social standing. Augustine never reveals her name, most likely to protect her from unwanted attention. As Augustine would later write, she went back to Africa and vowed never to take another man.