St. Augustine Accepts Platonic Concept Essay

Good Essays

St. Augustine was a Christian Platonist. He Christianizes many of Plato’s Greek concepts. In Confessions, St. Augustine used many Neo-plationic terms and ideas but in Book VII is when he finally has a revelation about the similarities of Philosophy and Christianity. In class, we have discussed a number of ways in which St. Augustine accepts the ideas of Plato; one of those being the theory of forms. Plato’s theory of forms describes the divine to be in the invisible, perfect, intangible world. St. Augustine believed that Plato’s theory of the forms was compatible with his Christian beliefs because of a vision he had while trying to picture God.
We are introduced to the Forms in Plato’s dialogue the Phaedo. The Theory of Forms says that …show more content…

The Neoplatonists believed in the idea of God, who is the creator of but they mention nothing about the idea that Christ dwells with us in the flesh. Augustine also makes two other criticisms of Neoplatonism. He is upset at the fact that the Neoplatonists do not give praise to God, and he says that it is tainted by their polytheist tendencies in their writings. He would, however, receive a revelation through God that withheld with the philosophical concept of the Theory of the Forms. These problems did not withstand his interest in St. Augustine’s new reading. St. Augustine couldn’t rap his head around the idea of something that was not made of matter (taking up space) existing. So he tried to see God in a physical sense. He had no conception of spiritual substance. Trying to picture God as “a secret breath of life” when he shouldn’t of been trying to “picture” Him at all. In Chapter 17 of book VII, St Augustine described how he had this “vision” of God. He did not physically see the God, but he saw the “invisible things, understood by the things which are made” He experienced this world of being that Plato talks about without seeing with the physical eye. It was an encounter with God. This encounter took place in the existence that Plato calls the “World of Being.” St. Augustine spoke about the two different worlds and how one was pure

Get Access