Augustine of Hipo's Ideas of Creation and Time in The Confessions Essay

Augustine of Hipo's Ideas of Creation and Time in The Confessions Essay

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Augustine of Hippo writes extensively on his life, conversion, and learning in his spiritual autobiography The Confessions. After detailing his conversion, however, Augustine begins to explore topics of particular interest to him as a philosopher and theologian. One of the greatest reflections Augustine writes is contained in Book XI of The Confessions, in which Augustine reflects on the ideas of eternity and time. In this Book, Augustine addresses the concept of eternity, and how to define what is eternal and what is not. Augustine applies this to the Christian notion of God, and how he created the world. The place of time in creation is then explained. After the idea of time as creation is explored, what time consists of is directly addressed. Augustine presents a concise philosophy of time in eternity in his book The Confessions, and these concepts can be applied to the larger realms of philosophy and theology to enrich our understanding of time, God, humanity, and perception.
In Book XI of The Confessions, Augustine seeks to explore the theme of creation referred to in the Book of Genesis. Augustine begins this account by discussing the place of change in creation, saying that anything that can change has been created . By this reasoning, it is reckoned that for something to be uncreated, it must be eternal in nature, the key example Augustine uses being God. Augustine then goes on to explain the concept of God creating the world through His Word. Here, Augustine relies on the idea of the Word (from the Latin Verbum, or Ancient Greek λόγος, the unincarnate divinity of Jesus). Augustine then expands upon the idea of God’s Word as being the first thing, and the thing through which all else was created . Augustine then uses thi...


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...n this way, Augustine presents a detailed idea of time in Book XI of The Confessions, and relates it to human experience, God, and the world at large.



Works Cited

Augustine. The Confessions. Translated by Maria Boulding, O.S.B. New York: Vintage Books, 1990.
Corriveau, Roger. “The Quest for a Liberal Education.” Lecture to Philosophy 356: Seek & Find: Augustine Seminar, Assumption College, Worcester, MA, March 17, 2014.
The Holy Bible: Revised Standard Version | Second Catholic Edition. Translated by The Catholic Biblical Association of Great Britain. San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2002.
Kant, Immanuel. Critique of Pure Reason. Translated by J.M.D. Meiklejohn. New York: Willey Book, 1781.
Williams, Thomas. “Biblical Interpretation.” In The Cambridge Companion to Augustine, edited by Eleonore Stump and Norman Kretzmann. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001.

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