By Lenka Karfikova

The doctrine on grace, the most mentioned subject matters in his later years, was once appeared by way of Augustine because the very center of Christianity. This booklet strains the slow crystallisation of this educating, together with its unacceptable results (such as double predestination, inherited guilt which merits everlasting punishment, and its transmission via libidinous procreation). How did the reader of Cicero and “the books of the Platonists” succeed in the information that seem in his polemic opposed to Julian (and which remind one among Freud instead of the Stoics or Plotinus)? that's the aspect of departure of this e-book. It definitely can't be anticipated that there's a convinced solution to the query; really, the purpose is to keep on with and comprehend the improvement.

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Augustine knows quite well that what is stronger cannot be forced to anything by what is weaker. Concupiscence thus cannot enslave the human mind, which is the stronger of the two, and God (as only God is stronger than the human mind) will not enslave it either because it contradicts his justice. The mind thus succumbs to desire solely on account of its own will (propria voluntas) and the free choice of the will (liberum arbitrium). That is why it deserves a punishment in the form of suffering brought about by the domination of desires: … [N]othing makes a mind give way to desire (cupiditas) except its own will and free choice.

Eccl. I,16,29: CSEL 90, 34; De mor. eccl. I,15,25: CSEL 90, 29. 47 See De mor. eccl. I,22,40: CSEL 90, 45. 48 See De mor. eccl. I,19,36: CSEL 90, 40. 49 De mor. eccl. I,22,41: CSEL 90, 46; De mor. eccl. I,30,64: CSEL 90, 67. 50 See De mor. eccl. I,26,48–51: CSEL 90, 53–55. The prominence of love of neighbour in this treatise is pointed out by K. Janssen, who perceives it as one of the symptoms of Augustine’s transition from Platonic inspirations to biblical faith (see K. Janssen, Die Entstehung, 81–88).

Arb. I,10,20,71: CCL 29, 224). 26 … ut omnia sint ordinatissima (De lib. arb. I,6,15,51: CCL 29, 220). English translation by M. Pontifex, 49. 27 As K. Janssen points out, although sin is understood here as the violation of cosmic the universe of will 21 But how is it that reason loses the control over desires which is inherent to it? Augustine knows quite well that what is stronger cannot be forced to anything by what is weaker. Concupiscence thus cannot enslave the human mind, which is the stronger of the two, and God (as only God is stronger than the human mind) will not enslave it either because it contradicts his justice.

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