Saint Augustine's Confessions Research Paper

Pages: 6 (1938 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 4  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Women's Issues - Sexuality

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On the other hand, to Augustine, Christianity then became associated with abstaining from sexual activity. Augustine associated Christianity with the presence of God's love while paganism became associated with the lack of God's love. And as the lack of God's love was the same as evil, paganism became evil in the eyes of Augustine. If paganism was then evil, then the acts performed while a pagan, such as engaging in obsessive sexual activity, would then have to also be associated with evil. The fact that, like many addicts, the more one satisfied the craving the less satisfied they become also seemed to have had an impact on Augustine. The more sex he had the less satisfied he became with his obsession with sex. He could not achieve the intimacy, goodness, or grace from mindless sexual encounters. In other words God's love and grace could not be found in obsessive sex. The emptiness that Augustine felt as a result of his obsession also became associated with sex in his mind. And if sex was empty and unfulfilling spiritually, then there was no association between sex and God's love. Since God's love is goodness, the absence of God's love, obsessive sex, was therefore evil in the eyes of Augustine.

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While Augustine described obsessive sex as being associated with his pagan past and the absence of God, he concluded that it was still a necessary aspect of human life. However, because of the nature of sex to become an overwhelming compulsion, he recommended that sex be performed only in the confines of marriage and only for the purpose of procreation. Augustine seems to view sex as a danger to a person's reason, their faith, and ultimately their soul.

TOPIC: Research Paper on Saint Augustine's Confessions Assignment

Finally, Augustine's conversion can be seen as a mirror of the transition of the classical world into the Christian one and the change in views about sex as the manifestation of this transformation. Augustine lived at the time when Christianity became the dominant religious belief in the Roman empire and replaced the old pagan tradition. Sex in the traditional pagan belief system was a natural part of life and promiscuous sexual activity held no bad connotation whatsoever. But with the rise of Christianity sexual activity became associated with sin and inherently evil. Therefore Augustine's conversion and his transformative view on sexuality can be seen as two aspects of a single change.

Works Cited

Saint Augustine. The Confessions of Saint Augustine. Trans. Edward Bouverie

Pusey. Web. 12 April 2014.

http://www.dsusd.k12.ca.us/users/christopherg/classic%20novels/augustine-

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