Augustine's Treatment on God in the Confessions

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“The desire for God is written in the human heart”, the Catechism states (n.27). In one way or another, human beings try to pinpoint out the ultimate reality of things, i.e. the composition of the universe, its, purpose, its goal, etc. At some point, their painstaking search somehow leads them out to a reality which, or Who, can possibly be the definitive, decisive, relational, communicatory factor of everything “under the sun”.

This quest for the Absolute has taken many forms. Divine revelations, as what the hagiographers of the Bible have received, is one perfect example; it is the process in which the Absolute discloses himself to persons in his own unique ways. But this is an inadequate means, for one is not obliged to believe in such phenomena; one can still doubt about them.

Another example would be legends or myths, like the Greek and Roman gods and goddesses. These facts have been passed on by tradition and poetry, as on Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey narrates. But this is yet another inadequate way, for legends and myths do not mean necessarily that they are true.

Perhaps the most successful means of reaching the Indubitable and Immutable is doing philosophy. Originally aiming for a rationalization of Greek primitive and mythological religion, philosophy gradually shifts course to certain areas of human existence and objective topics, viz. reason and senses as discussed by Aristotle in the On The Soul, Plato’s view on the Good and the social classes in the Republic, and all other else.

Now when Christianity entered the scene, the pendulum swayed philosophy’s focus once again from the centrality of the human person toward the Absolute. And it we...

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...y first chapter of the Confessions, again I would quote: “you have made us for yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.”

In conclusion, there is this transition from being a condiment to an ingredient. It is Augustine’s big mistake that he underestimated God; sooner or later he realized that He is the One, and the only One, Who would complete him.


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__________. (2006). THE HOLY BIBLE: New Revised Standard Version, Catholic Edition. St. Pauls. Makati. 1496 pp.

Chadwick, H. (1991). Saint Augustine: Confessions. Oxford University Press. England. 311 pp.

Fieser, J. (2009). The History of Philosophy: A Short Survey. Retrieved at

Gibson, E. (1941). God and Philosophy. Yale University Press. Connecticut.
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