Augustine of Hippo

 

Saint Augustine of Hippo 13 November 354 – 28 August 430)was a Roman African, early Christian theologian and philosopher from Numidia whose writings influenced the development of Western Christianity and Western philosophy.

Augustine saw the human being as a perfect unity of two substances: soul and body. Initially, the two elements were in perfect harmony. After the fall of humanity they are now experiencing dramatic combat between one another. They are two categorically different things. The body is a three-dimensional object, whereas the soul has no spatial dimensions. Soul is a kind of substance, participating in reason, fit for ruling the body and the soul is superior to the body.

A will defiled by sin is not considered as “free” as it once was because it is bound by material things, which could be lost or be difficult to part with, resulting in unhappiness. Sin impairs free will, while grace restores it.

 

Augustine boldly wrote a letter urging the emperor to set up a new law against slave traders and was very much concerned about the sale of children. Augustine believed that slavery did more harm to the slave owner than the enslaved person himself.

 Augustine, who believed Jewish people would be converted to Christianity at “the end of time”, argued that God had allowed them to survive their dispersion as a warning to Christians; as such, he argued, they should be permitted to dwell in Christian lands.

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