Essay on Aquinas vs. Augustine on Their Varying Views of Women

1845 Words May 31st, 2011 8 Pages
Aquinas vs. Augustine on their varying views of women. St Thomas Aquinas and St Augustine of Hippo are considered to be two of the greatest Christian theologians in the history of Christianity. Both of these men are apart of the same organization, the Church. Just by this fact it would be easy to assume that they agree on all major issues of the day but this is not the case. They have completely differing views with respect to women in secular and religious life corresponding with the idea of original sin, human sexuality, and social roles. Even in the modern Catholic Church they are still regarded as two of the most important doctors of the church despite their different teachings on key important aspects of leading a Christian life. …show more content…
In a different aspect, Augustine believes that human sexuality is dirty. His writing is in favor of rejecting his own sexual nature to live a life away from woman altogether. In his writing he always uses negative language to talk about sexuality. He writes about a dream. He sees Continence and she says to him a quote from the Psalms “Close your ears to the unclean whispers of your body, so that it may be mortified. It tells you of things that delight you, but not such things as the law of the Lord your God has to tell” (Confessions, 176). These sexual temptations are impure, and disordered. He has to turn away from all things sexual. Through all his giving in to temptation in life he pulls a 180-degree turn once he converts and believes that he should never be with another woman again. He runs away from the general population and hides away in a monastery for the rest of his life. He changes from not being able to wait two years for a wife to have sex, to giving up sex forever. He feels like he had been greedy in the first part of his life and that the latter part should be given up to God. “…no bodily pleasure, however great it might be and whatever earthly light might shed luster upon it, was worthy of comparison…beside the happiness of the life of the saints” (Confessions, 197). Aquinas believes that human sexuality is innocent. He argues against

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