Book:  Confessions  Saint Augustine-Penguin Classics Books   ISBN 978-0-0140-44114-7  Choose one of the following qu

Book: 

Confessions 

Saint Augustine-Penguin Classics Books 

 ISBN 978-0-0140-44114-7

 Choose one of the following questions and write 250-300 word reflection on it. 

 Book VII*****

           BOOK VII

This is a critical book. This book is more intellectual than the other books because in this pivotal book Augustine is trying to analyze and understand nothing less than: the nature of God, the problem of evil, the nature of free will, the idea of Divine Justice and Christ as mediator between the human and the Divine. Before you look at Book VII, just think about: what is your view of God? Of evil? What constitutes evil? Do you have free will?

  1. In chapter 7 of Book VII Augustine says he realizes that “the light was within, while I looked on the world outside.” What do you think he means? And he says he was separated from God “by the swelling of my pride.” What do you think he means?
  2. In chapter 9 of Book VII Augustine starts to read some books on Platonism (Neo Platonism) and in chapter 10 he says “These books served to remind me to return to my own self…..I entered into the depths of my soul….I entered with the eye of my soul….I saw the Light that never changes….” Read all of chapter 10. What seems to be happening? What does Augustine seem to be experiencing?
  3. In chapter 12 he says, “evil is not a substance because if it were a substance it would be good.” And in Chapter 13 he says “For you [God] evil does not exist…because there is nothing outside …” and in chapter 16 he says “And when I asked myself what wickedness was, I saw that it was not a substance but perversion of the will when it turns aside from you, O God, who are the supreme substance…”So how is Augustine defining evil? How is evil related to free will? Does Augustine’s idea of evil and free will relate to our world today?
  4. In chapter 17, what does Augustine tell us happens to his Beatific Vision? What is a Beatific Vision? Look at the first 5-8 sentences. What is the ascent Augustine describes? Then in chapter 18 he realizes he needed a mediator, Jesus Christ. But then he struggles with the ideas of Christ—was he all Divine but just put into a body or was he just human, a good and wise man, but not God. What do you think? In chapter 21 Scriptures help him understand and acknowledge Jesus Christ as fully God and fully human. How is Augustine responding to Scripture now? What accounts for the change? In chapter 21 Augustine writes “in justice we have been delivered to the author of sin…. what is man to do in his plight…..who is to set him free…” What is Augustine proclaiming here?

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