Category Archives: Christianity and Classical Culture

Platonic Love

“[Love] interprets,” [Diotima] replied, “between gods and men, conveying and taking across to the gods the prayers and sacrifices of men, and to men the commands and replies of the gods; he is the mediator who spans the chasm which … Continue reading

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Augustinian Ambiguity (II)

Following on my previous three or four posts about Augustinian politics, let me say that I fully believe in and support Christian education, and I do not believe that secular education is a good thing. I agree in general terms … Continue reading

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Augustinian Ambiguity (I)

Augustine’s masterwork City of God raises terribly fascinating questions of what type of society Christians should seek to have, and how consistently they should pursue it. Joining education with social vision and maintenance (as both secular and Christian education do) … Continue reading

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Divinized Politics (Augustine on Images, II)

In the entry below “Augustine and Images,” I mentioned that Augustine’s City of God “de-divinizes” politics. This is a such a fascinating thought that I wanted to give it its own post, especially in light of a certain error of … Continue reading

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Augustine and the Antithesis (II)

More from Augustine showing a clearness of thought about the usefulness of “pagan philosophy” that we ourselves often don’t have: In City of God VIII.10, Augustine mentions that some people “whose education has been confined to the study of the … Continue reading

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Augustine and Images

In City of God IV.31, VII.5, and VII.27-VII.29, Augustine makes some interesting points about the corrupting influence of images on true religion. The remarks are part of his extended critique of pagan “civil” and “natural” religion. At the moment I … Continue reading

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When Our Only Possessions in Death Are the Pleasures We Have Gulped Down in Life

In City of God II.20, is Augustine talking about ancient Rome, or about the modern Western world? But the worshippers and admirers of these gods delight in imitating their scandalous iniquities, and are nowise concerned that the republic be less … Continue reading

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Augustine and the Antithesis

Yet another note on the Van Tillian caricature of the Church Fathers as people who rather unfortunately did not recognize that they were “co-opting” the Faith with pagan philosophy: Augustine notes that disproving the pagan arguments about the gods’ benevolence … Continue reading

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Augustine on Suicide

Augustine’s argument against suicide is intriguing. He thinks that Christ’s summary of the Law, “You shall love your neighbor as you love yourself,” implies that the Christian has no right to commit suicide. This is because suicide is (self) murder, … Continue reading

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Prisca Theologia and Pia Philosophia

Just as the idea of a great yawning antithesis between all things non-Christian and all things Christian can be overdrawn, yielding pessimistic excesses, it seems that the idea of a “prisca theologia” (ancient theology) in which the best of non-Christian … Continue reading

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