This week we study Augustine. Recall that the Esposito textbook called him one of the most influential figures in the history of Western civilization. Also keep in mind that your next paper is going to involve comparing/contrasting him with Dorothy Day as diverse examples of what being Catholic can look like.
First, read the attached 2 page introduction to Augustine. Use that introduction to complete the following question:
1. Make a timeline of Augustine’s life events that show up in the introduction article.
Second, read the 2 chapters from Augustine’s autobiography, the Confessions, and answer these questions.
2. Tell me as much as you can about Augustine’s mother and father based on the readings.
3. Augustine tells you a story about stealing pears from a tree, but says that he didn’t steal the pears because he wanted to eat them. Read the final pages of that first chapter carefully and write 2-3 sentences explaining the deeper point of the story. (Do not stop reading when it says “we derived pleasure from the deed simply because it was forbidden”… he continues on in the chapter to explore his motivations further and realizes that it was more complicated than that)
4. Sometimes people talk about Augustine’s conversion to Christianity as though he was totally anti-religion until one day he had a total reversal in his garden. Write a paragraph that uses examples from the reading to explain why that way of interpreting Augustine’s life is incorrect. (If you’re stuck, look at the stories involving Victorinus and Ponticianus, and think about why he tells those stories)