, Saint., Philosopher, Christian Latin writer, Father of the Church, 354-430. Born in Tagaste in Numidia pagan father, accepting Christianity only before his death, and mother, a zealous Christian. Initially, he studied at Tagaste, then Madavre, but in the end - at Carthage (371 g.). There he joined a sect Manichees. After graduation he was appointed teacher of rhetoric, first in Tagaste, and the next year in Carthage, to finally 383 g. move to Rome. In 384 g. mediated by the prefect of the city, pagan Simmaha receives a teaching position of rhetoric in the then capital of the Western Empire Mediolane. Here, conducting his studies, he himself becomes a listener of the local bishop Ambrosio.
Under his influence, he finally decides to break with the adoption of Manichaeism and Christianity (25 April 387). returns Tagastu which carries two years in monastic seclusion. After receiving 391 g. dignity of the priesthood from the hands of the bishop and the faithful Hippo, in 396 g. was elected bishop of this city. A. As bishop of Hippo he led a vigorous fight against Manichaeism, then with the Donatists, as well as at the end of life, with pelagianami. In addition to concerns about the flock, which were the result of numerous manuals and cycles homilite (interviews), A. devoted himself to scientific work, writing letters and answered countless reporters, either in the form of treatises, either in the form of letters. He lived in a monastery, but the authenticity of 3 monastic charters attributed to him being questioned. Died Aug. 28 430 g. during the siege of Hippo by vandals. - A. began to write about. 380 g. and wrote almost until his death, left behind 93 works (of which 10 works were killed), instructions and letters.
The most significant works of A. we are among voluminous autobiography, Confessions (Confessiones) in 13 books, one of the most famous and important works of all patristic literature, which describes with extraordinary depth of the history of its treatment. As written at the end of life Rebuttals (Retractationes; 427) A. evaluates their creativity and amend some of its stated above theological views. A philosophy. engaged more in the early period of his literary activity. At the time, was written by labor against the Academicians (Contra Academicos) in 3 books, and ethical writings: On Happiness (De beata vita), On the order of (De ordine), a short unfinished treatise on the immortality of the soul (De immortalitate animae). This theme continues treatise on the greatness of the soul (De quantitate animae). On the Teacher (De magistro) specifies the student-teacher relationship, about music (De musica) in 6 books, in addition to theoretical issues, raises the problem of the influence of music on a culture of thought.
Among the works of a dogmatic. deserves special attention extensive (15 kn.) product of the Holy Trinity (De Trinitate), which gave rise to a separate doctrine of the Trinity, as set out in the cathedrals: I Nicene and Constantinople I. Equally important is the work of City of God (De civitate dei) in 22 books, created in 413-427 years. Conceived as an apology against the pagans, who in the ruin of Rome in 410 g. seen evidence of weakness of God Christians. A. presented here the history of mankind as a struggle between "the kingdom of God" and "the kingdom of Satan". This is the first product of the Christian istoriologii, which enjoyed enormous prestige, especially in the Middle Ages. A. was also the author of works: On faith and the symbol (De fide et symbolo), . The true religion (De vera religione), . Guide Laurus or beliefs about, . hope and love (Enchiridion ad Laurentium seu de fide, . spe et caritate), . which proves the necessity of faith in God and the truth, . They pledged, . substantiates the truth of the Catholic religion, . explains the contents of the Symbol of Faith, . and calls 3 divine virtues: faith, . hope and love - the foundation of Christian life,
. Among the most important polemical writings should be called on Heresies (De haeresibus), contained a discussion of 88 heresies from Simon Magus to Pelagius (whose A. challenged and in some works).
In the way of work about the Catholic Church and about the customs Manichees (De moribus Ecclesiae Catolicae et de moribus Manichaeorum) but to describe the structure of Manichaeism and presented views on the morality of what was then the Church. In the writings on the benefits of faith (De utilitate credendi) and against the Secunda Manichaean (Contra Secundinum Manichaeum) A. based its departure from Manichaeism. Many years a. also struggled with the Donatists, who incidentally are not considered valid baptism, produced a heretic, challenged the primacy of the Roman Church, etc.. Against them, A. sent primarily works on Baptism against the Donatists (De baptismo contra Donatistas), . Against messages Parmeniana (Contra epistulam Parmeniani), . Message to the Catholics against the Donatists, or about the unity of the Church (Epistula ad catholicos de secta Donatistarum seu De unitate ecclesiae), . By Donatists after the meeting (Ad donatistas post collationem), . Against Gaudenzi (Contra Gaudentium),
. He is also a polemic with the teachings of Pelagius. It should be called a treatise on the soul and its origin (De natura et origine animae), . On the spirit and letter (De spiritu et littera), . On the mercy of Christ and Original Sin (De gratia Christi et de peccato originali), . Against Julian VI books (Contra Iulianum libri VI), . Unfinished work against another sermon Julian (Contra secundam Iuliani responsionem imperfectum opus), . On grace and free will (Liber de gratia et libero arbitrio),
. Against the Arians (cm. Arius) A. performed repeatedly, among others in the work against the heretics Maximinus, bishop of the Arians.
Much time and labor A. dedicated to commentaries on Scripture. The fruit of this labor were primarily an essay on the book of Genesis in the literal sense (De Genesi ad litteram libri XII), . Introduction to the Psalms (Enarrationes in psalmos), . On the Sermon on the Mount (De sermone Domini in monte libri II), . Treatise on the Gospel of John (Tractatus in Evangelium Ioannis), . as well as other comments on the books of the Old and New Testaments,
. Noteworthy is the work of evangelists on Consent (De consensu Evangelistarum) and the Christian doctrine (De doctrina christiana). A pastoral activities. placed before him a wealth of practical issues: wanting to answer them, . He has created numerous works of asceticism and practical, . of which the most significant fight on Christians (De agone Christiano), . describes the daily struggle of good against evil in the life of a Christian, . On patience (De patienta), . Marriage (De bono coniugali), . On the act of adultery (De adulterinis coniugiis), . On longing for the dead (De cura gerenda pro mortius), . On learning the basics of the faith of people, . unfamiliar with the teachings of Christ (De catechizandis rudibus),
Under the name A. we find in the manuscripts collection of 277 letters (among them there are also letters to him) and a large number of instructions, among which many are not genuine. A number of his works. than other Latin ecclesiastical writers of the period. A. had a thorough rhetorical training, was a brilliant Latin literature. It was very well read in classical authors, as well as in later. Due to this, he could pass the intellectual heritage of antiquity Middle Ages, he managed to "baptize" some elements of pagan philosophy and develop their own ideas of their predecessors, the Christian Writers. In his work he was guided above all practical purposes, in particular the objectives of pastoral. It is motivated by their use of a. simple, vivid, figurative language. A great writer's talent and wit A. made him famous, although excessive rhetoric and could sometimes weary the reader.
A. had a strong influence on theology, especially his doctrine of grace, the Church and some issues of morality. His creativity was reflected in the further development of philosophy of history and some philosophical concepts. Language A. influenced to a large extent on the formation of the Church in Latin. Nature and identity of a. determined that in the treatment of many issues he had made exaggerated. Too much emotion he approached the problems that need solutions for their calmness and prudence, not just forgetting about the important things for the sake of particulars. But he also knew how to critically evaluate their activities.