St Augustine and Classical Education

1040 Words5 Pages
Saint Augustine and Classical Education In Saint Augustine's deeply personal work, Confessions, he shares the story of his life up to his eventual conversion to the Christian faith. His odyssey through life is, at times, one of bitter inner conflict between his intellect and faith. Augustine's classical education had a profound affect on the way he viewed the world, and eventually had a major affect on the way he approached Christianity. He is definitely an "intellectual" Christian, and viewed many aspects of his faith from this perspective. Augustine's attitude towards classical literature and thought was at times slightly self-contradictory. It is clear, however, that although he was grateful for the education he was given, it was…show more content…
Other than Christianity, his education was the most important factor that shaped his early life. Augustine would have been a different man without this education, and without it his conversion would also have been different. His circuitous route to his final acceptance of God would have been far less significant were it not for this long and difficult intellectual struggle. It is clear that his education in rhetoric provided him with the skills necessary for shaping Confessions into a highly persuasive work. Confessions is not only a self-analysis, but also a testimony to the power of the Lord. Augustine wanted his readers to be fully convinced that the ultimate and only Truth was what he had discovered after his years of conflict between philosophy and faith. His credo, "I believe in order that I may understand," (VI, 127) said much about his attitude towards the relationship between faith and reason. When Augustine made the decision to fully convert to Christianity in Book VIII, it was truly a "leap of faith." He knew then that he had to leave part of his philosophical pursuits behind and commit himself fully to Christ. "For I felt that I was still the captive of my sins, and in my misery I kept crying ‘How long shall I go on saying, "tomorrow, tomorrow"? Why not now? Why not make an end of my
Open Document