Item description for 22. St. Augustine: The Problem of Free Choice (Ancient Christian Writers) by Saint Augustine of Hippo, St Augustine & T. C. Lawler...
Overview One of Augustine's most important works, written between 388 and 395, this dialogue has as its ojective not so much to discuss free will for its own sake as to discuss the problem of evil in reference to the existence of God, who is almighty and all-good.
Publishers Description A monumental project which brings the English-speaking work key selections from the remarkable literature of early Christianity -- vertiable trasures of Christian faith and theology in superb translations.
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Studio: Paulist Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.92" Width: 5.66" Height: 1.08" Weight: 1.08 lbs.
Release Date Jan 1, 1978
Publisher Paulist Press
Series Ancient Christian Writers
Series Number 22
ISBN 0809102595 ISBN13 9780809102594
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More About Saint Augustine of Hippo, St Augustine & T. C. Lawler
Augustine was born in AD 354. He lived a wild, self-destructive life as a young man in Italy and was the subject of many prayers by his worried mother, Monica. After a life-changing conversion, he lived on to become a tremendous influence on Christian thinking. He died in AD 430.
Aurelius Augustinus [more commonly “St. Augustine of Hippo,” often simply “Augustine”] (354–430 C.E.): rhetor, Christian Neoplatonist, North African Bishop, Doctor of the Roman Catholic Church. One of the decisive developments in the western philosophical tradition was the eventually widespread merging of the Greek philosophical tradition and the Judeo-Christian religious and scriptural traditions. Augustine is one of the main figures through and by whom this merging was accomplished. He is, as well, one of the towering figures of medieval philosophy whose authority and thought came to exert a pervasive and enduring influence well into the modern period (e.g. Descartes and especially Malebranche), and even up to the present day, especially among those sympathetic to the religious tradition which he helped to shape (e.g. Plantinga 1992; Adams 1999). But even for those who do not share this sympathy, there is much in Augustine's thought that is worthy of serious philosophical attention. Augustine is not only one of the major sources whereby classical philosophy in general and Neoplatonism in particular enter into the mainstream of early and subsequent medieval philosophy, but there are significant contributions of his own that emerge from his modification of that Greco-Roman inheritance, e.g., his subtle accounts of belief and authority, his account of knowledge and illumination, his emphasis upon the importance and centrality of the will, and his focus upon a new way of conceptualizing the phenomena of human history, just to cite a few of the more conspicuous examples.
Saint Augustine of Hippo was born in 354 and died in 430.
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Free will and evil Nov 8, 2006
St. Augustine wrote this book to answer the challenge of the Manachaeans. The Manachaeans held that evil could not be accounted for except as an independent principle with the result that man was not truly free or responsible for his actions since evil was a positively existing part of his nature. Such determinism easily leads to fatalism, both of which have nothing to do with the Gospel of Christ. St. Augustine presents his argument in the form of a conversation with a friend named Evodius. His simple, but startling conclusion is that evil is "nothing." It is what is not, but should be. Evil does not exist as an independent entity, but is brought about through the defective use of free will by a deliberative being. The source of this defect is the pride of Satan who chose to fixate upon his own being rather than see his being in its proper relation to God. Satan then influences the Man and Woman to seek in themselves what they knew to be in God. Man's freedom is not destroyed through sin, but weakened through the influence of concupiscence which distracts the mind and distorts the object of consideration so that clear deliberation is impossible without God's grace. Even in the state of sin, however, man continues to possess free will since his nature is oriented to the good and there are many goods for a rational being to choose from. Without grace, though, man can never choose the eternal Good through Whom alone he can be justified. Therefore, man always remains responsible for his actions since he is free, yet without grace he is doomed to damnation due to the deprivation of the eternal Good that was lost to him through Adam's sin. Though no man is personally culpable for original sin and therefore subject to positive damnation for this sin, every man of reason has in fact sinned personally and in this manner becomes culpable and consequently convicted. This book shows clearly that from early in his career St. Augustine upheld both the freedom of the will and the necessity of God's grace to attain justification. He maintained this position to the end as shown by his propensity in later life to continue to refer individuals to this early work.