Augustine 2 Essay Research Paper Saint Augustine

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Augustine 2 Essay, Research Paper Saint Augustine was born in North Africa (then a province of the Roman Empire), in 354 AD. He became a teacher of rhetoric, was converted to a religious life, and became bishop of Hippo in 395. Saint Augustine’s writings were one of the most influential and widely consulted doctrines of his time and even today his works The City Of God and The Confessions are widely read. Augustine’s life before converting was filled with turmoil, sin and confusion, but in the end he willingly succumbed to God’s will and became a Christian. Perhaps it was due to his immoral life that was filled with sexual sin that caused Augustine to have a very conservative view on woman. In both The City Of God and The Confessions, there are many different images of

women; Augustine believes women should be subordinate (men are to care for and protect a woman) and his ideals of feminine virtue are conservative and religious. After his conversion to Christianity, Augustine’s position on sexuality and women turned extreme. “Since it was not until two years’ time I was to obtain her I sought, — being not so much a lover of marriage as a slave to lust, — procured another women” (Confessions Book VI). Before being converted, Augustine would engage in sinful acts such as sex with other women when he was married and joining different religious cults. Augustine’s image of women is one that is very male-orientated. Augustine believes completely in the ideas of male domination and superiority. “Thou hast granted to man that from others

he should come to conclusions as to himself, and that he should believe many things concerning himself on the authority of feeble women” (Confessions Book I). Feeble women this is Augustine’s image of women, that they are weak and frail and incapable of anything. Augustine believes that men have absolute authority over everyone and that they are naturally given authority over women from God. “Woman, who is simple and knoweth nothing” (Confessions Book III). Women know nothing, and are simple minded to Augustine. A woman’s role should be one that is secondary to the man, and they should be submissive and obey all that a man commands. The entire concept of sin and original sin is important to Augustine and this is another reason why his view of women is so low; that

although man could be forgiven for original sin, he could never escape it’s consequences. For Augustine, sin is something that is impossible to escape, and that ever since Eve ate the apple in the Garden of Eden, mankind will forever continue to sin, unable to escape from this deadly circle. Because Eve ate the apple of knowledge, she inherently received the curse of sin, this is why women must forever listen to the will of man, for if not, this sort of disaster may happen again. “Woman, naturally of the weaker sex; I (Augustine) cannot think of any reason for a woman’s being made as the man’s helper, if we dismiss this reason of procreation” (City Of God Book VI). Women to Augustine are the weaker sex, they know nothing, they’re feeble and he believes women are

simply made for the reason of procreation. Augustine’s image of women are so useless that he believes that if it weren’t for reproduction, there simply would be no need for women. “Never commit fornication; but above all things never to defile another man’s wife. These appeared to me but womanish counsels” (Confessions Book II). This advice from The Confessions is from his mother, to never commit fornication, but once again this shows his opinion towards women as inferior once again come through as he dismissed his mothers advice as “womanish counsels”. For Augustine, women are to be naturally submissive and obedient to men, and much like the other people of his time, his views of women are conservative (for our time). Despite Saint Augustine’s belief that women