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.OutlineI.Augustine s conversion leads toward his baptism.His official reception into the Christian community throughthis rite of Christian initiation is, in a real sense, the goal of his lengthy journey, which ends in his turningtoward God.A.Baptism as a rite of the Christian Church is extremely rich in significance and symbolism.B.St.Paul, for example, talks about baptism in terms of a pattern of death and resurrection.1.Christ s death and resurrection, according to Paul, is that pattern that all Christians must follow.2.Our immersion in the waters of baptism recreates precisely that pattern.II.In Book IX of the Confessions, Augustine relates the death of several people of great importance in his life.A.In this book, for example, he recounts the death of his son.B.He also relates the death of his friends Nebridius and Verecundus.C.Finally, he recounts at considerable length the death of his mother, Monica.III.It seems clear that he wants us to understand these deaths and his reaction to them in terms of the Christiandoctrine of resurrection.IV.In this book, we are given more details about Augustine s son.A.He talks about his son s baptism.B.He talks about a book they wrote together, as a dialogue, even though his son was only 16 years old at thetime.C.He asserts that he has no anxiety for his son because of the kind of life he led.V.Now that Augustine is a baptized Christian, he must deal with the very real question of what to do with his life.A.He is concerned that he live a life that is appropriate to a Christian.B.He understands that there may be some problems in leading the life of a teacher of rhetoric.C.Like Victorinus in Book VIII, Augustine gives up the teaching of rhetoric as inappropriate to his new life.1.Augustine uses a lung problem as his opportunity to  retire from the teaching of rhetoric.2.He takes advantage of the generosity of his friend Verecundus, who makes his country estate atCassiciacum available to Augustine.VI.The period of contemplation and leisure that Augustine and his friends enjoy at Cassiciacum must surely becontrasted with his later busy life as a bishop.A.He enters a quasi-monastic atmosphere that reflects earlier periods of his life.B.The decision to put marriage aside probably derived from a desire to dedicate himself to other aspects oflife.10 2004 The Teaching Company Limited Partnership C.He is, in a sense,  wasting time with God during this contemplative period, developing ideas he will laterwrite about at length.Suggested Readings:O Connell, St.Augustine s Confessions: The Odyssey of Soul, chapter 13.Stock, chapter 3.Cooper, chapter 9.Questions to Consider:1.How does Augustine s account of the death of his son, Adeodatus, in Book IX differ from his account of thedeath of his unnamed friend in Book IV?2.What can we infer about Augustine as a father from what he tells us about his son in this book?2004 The Teaching Company Limited Partnership 11 Lecture EighteenBook IX The Death of MonicaScope: This lecture focuses on one of the most famous sections in the Confessions, a section that is also full ofsurprises.To set the scene of his mother s death, Augustine tells the story of her life.Because attitudestoward women have changed a great deal since the time of Augustine, his description of her life opens up awindow on the world of late antiquity, especially in terms of domestic life.We learn something of therelations between men and women during this time, as well as some of the circumstances that were uniqueto Monica, including the fact that she was  addicted to wine in her youth.But Augustine carefully craftsthis narrative to prepare the reader for the scenes surrounding her death.Of particular importance is themeditation that Augustine and his mother share immediately before her death on the joys of heaven.Thispassage is often seen as one of the key texts in the history of Christian mysticism in the West and is,therefore, worth a close look.Augustine s reaction to his mother s death is also important: Because it takesplace after his conversion and baptism, it provides an interesting and important contrast with the death ofhis friend that we discussed in Book IV and shows how Augustine has carefully shaped the narrative sothat events play off each other.OutlineI.The death of Augustine s mother, Monica, is one of the most famous sections of the Confessions, but it is also asection that is full of surprises.II.To prepare us for her death, Augustine fills in some of the details of her life, details that were not given to usearlier in the narrative.A.We learn the rather surprising story of her  fondness for wine in her youth.1.This becomes yet another way for Augustine to talk about addiction to a vice.2.Monica fell into this vice despite the strong warning of one of her servants.3.What starts as a seemingly innocent pastime becomes something serious:  she had fallen at length intothe habit of avidly quaffing near-goblets full of wine.4.She is cured of the habit when another servant calls her a  wine-swiller.5.Augustine makes the point that this servant was trying to insult her, not cure her, but the effect was acure.B.We learn about her relations with her husband, Patricius, Augustine s father.1.Patricius is not as important to the entire narrative as Monica is, but the information is valuable to fillin some background about Augustine s father.2.We are told that Monica put up with his  marital infidelities.3.Her reasons for doing so are interesting: It is clear that women had little power legally in suchsituations, and she believes that fidelity will come only when he accepts Christianity.4.We are told that he had quite a temper, but that Monica s strategies kept her from ever being beaten.5.We are told that she gave advice to some of her friends to avoid the same fate.C.We are told of her relationship to her mother-in-law and how Monica won her over.D.In all these stories, we see the huge gap that separates domestic life in Augustine s time from our own, inparticular, the gap in the position of women.1.It seems that women had no power at all.2.Yet, at the same time, they had considerable authority in the domestic sphere.3 [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]

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