St. Augustine 's Philosophy Essay

2053 Words Dec 10th, 2016 9 Pages
Although St. Augustine was born about six hundred years before Plato and Aristotle, he nevertheless encountered the great thinkers through their works. Consequently, a plenitude of themes seen throughout the Ancient Greek philosophers’ books are scattered across saint’s letters and sermons. Because Augustine was a Catholic, however, there exist stark differences between the men’s ideas. Therefore, after naming and briefly describing several of St. Augustine’s writings, I argue that the Christian bishop’s viewpoints find some common ground with the ancients, but, at the same time, they portray a mode of thought unique to Augustine himself.
In his first work, Letter 91, Augustine writes to Nectarius, a government leader, about an attack on a church in a nearby town. The assault occurred “on a pagan feast day,” and, rather disturbingly, “no one prevented it” (Augustine 5). Hidden within this letter exist similarities between Augustine’s thought and the Greek philosophers’ thought. In fact, the beginning paragraph evokes the first commonality: love of one’s hometown. St. Augustine offers praise to Nectarius because of his “warm love” for his city (Augustine 2). Moreover, Augustine delights in Nectarius’s behavior which shows that “a good man’s service of his home-town has no limit” (Augustine 2). Book I of The Republic highlights a homogenous outlook: Socrates journeys “down to the Piraeus” in order to partake in the city life (Plato 3). Despite his intellectual superiority,…

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