TFF: True Friends Forever: Childhood Friend vs. Nebridius

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C.S. Lewis once wrote, “Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather it is one of those things that give value to survival” ( While philosophy and friendship may both be unnecessary, they are both valuable to the human experience. In the course of philosophical thinking, many philosophers, including Augustine, grapple with the concept and fulfillment of true friendship. Augustine writes of the meaning of true friendship in The Confessions, while also writing of his friendships throughout his life, using his own guidelines of what true friendship entails a revolution of his friendships can be seen alongside his transformation toward God that The Confessions is well known to showcase. In The Confessions, Augustine defines what true friendship is with the help of friendships of his past, whether good or bad, to show what friendship is and is not. In Book IV, Augustine writes, “Friendship is genuine only when you bind fast together people who cleave to you through the charity poured abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit” (The Confessions, Book IV, paragraph 7). To Augustine, true friendships are those brought and held together by God. Without God, there cannot be true friendship, and this is made evident by the comparison of two of Augustine’s friendships in his life. Through the friendships of an unnamed childhood friend and Nebridius, the reader sees a full transformation of Augustine’s friendships. The unnamed childhood friend comes to the reader in Book IV of The Confessions while Augustine is in his hometown, teaching rhetoric. As Edward C. Sellner, an associate professor of Pastoral Theology and Spirituality at the College of St. Catherine in Minnesota, wro... ... middle of paper ... and affection for this friend is clear, as is his belief that friendship on Christ survives even the yawning chasm of separation death brings” (Theology Today). Works Cited Augustine (2008). The Confessions (M. Boulding, Trans.). J. E. Rotelle (Ed.). Hyde Park, NY: New City Press. (Original work published 1997). David McFadden (d_mac18) on Twitter. (2012, December 19). Retrieved April 27, 2014, from Friendship is unnecessary, like philosophy, like art... It has no survival value; rather... - C. S. Lewis at BrainyQuote. (n.d.). Retrieved April 21, 2014, from Sellner, E. C. (1991). Like a Kindling Fire: Meanings of Friendship in the Life and Writings of Augustine. Spirituality Today, 43(3), 240-257. Retrieved from

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