Tag: Augustine

Quote of the Day: Speaking and Writing for the Future

 

I think you have understood the title of this psalm now, holy brethen. If we were to attempt to explain the psalm itself now, there would be a risk that what you have heard might slip your memories. But tomorrow is Sunday, when we owe you a sermon, so let us put the rest off till then, so that you may be ready to listen to the text of the psalm with fresh enjoyment. We shall have dealt with the title, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

–The real Augustine

Member Post

 

I enjoy a lot of critiques of Star Wars, The Last Jedi not excluded. But I enjoyed the newest Star Wars. I think The Last Jedi might be the most philosophically respectable Star Wars movie to date. It replaces one very silly idea of the Force with a much more respectable idea. It’s a shift from a Manichean Star […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

Most people know the Golden Rule from Jesus/Yeshua: “So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 7:12, ESV). Another remark from him is closely associated with the Golden Rule: “The second [greatest commandment] is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself’ […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

From the blog Thinking Through Christianity and Scott Shiffer of Criswell College comes the first complete review of The Conversion and Therapy of Desire: Augustine’s Theology of Desire in the Cassiciacum Dialogues. [Disclosure: Scott’s a personal friend.] It’s a good summary of the book. And here are a few excerpts: . . . the book is significant for scholars […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

Another post on my recent book projects. Nerds Scholars have engaged in a lively debate for about 1.3 centuries about the nature of Augustine’s conversion to Christianity in 386 AD and the Christian character of his early writings. I have a recently published article in the area, overviewing the debate: “The Role of Platonism in […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

Augustine is not a Christian Platonist! He doesn’t think sex is bad! The evil City of Man is not politics! It’s a shame we know so little about Augustine, and that myths about him are so persistent. In light of that (and as another excuse for shamelessly advertising my book, The Conversion and Therapy of Desire: […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

Some events are the hinges on which history turns: Moses at Sinai, the trial of Socrates, Caesar crossing the Rubicon, the Resurrection of Jesus the Messiah, the conversion of Augustine, Luther’s 95 Theses, the American Revolution, Darwin’s Origins of the Species, etc., etc. A word about one of those in particular: Augustine is the guy whose books […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

I heard from the publisher today and got a look at the book cover they’ve chosen for The Conversion and Therapy of Desire. I’m not sure where the flowery background idea came from, but I’m not complaining. (And it’s growing on me.) My idea would have been to find some old public domain painting of […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Member Post

 

After announcing a little book on Augustine, introducing its (very important) topic of desire, and explaining my view of Augustine’s relation to Platonism, it’s time to say a few words on the contents of the book. Why am I doing this? Here are some reasons. 1. This topic is, in its own nerdy way, kind of important. […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

On Desire

 

shutterstock_298189988Let’s talk for a moment about life, the universe and everything. I don’t know any question about life, the universe, and everything to which the answer is definitely Forty-Two (see Douglas Adams), but I can tell you what some of the best questions are: Why aren’t we as happy as we want to be? How can we become happy?

So what about the answers? Well, these questions motivated millenia of philosophy, and a good bit of religion, too. A lot of interesting answers have been given, at least as far back as Buddha and as recently as C. S. Lewis. A lot of the big philosophers (Buddhists, Stoics, Epicureans, Platonists, Christians medievals, Descartes, Bacon, Lewis) have agreed on the problem: Our desires don’t fit the world. We desire more than this world has to offer. We desire what we can’t have — or what we can have but can’t keep — and we end up losing what we love, or fearing its loss.

There are two general strategies available to fix that problem: 1) We change what we want, so that we want what we can have; or 2) We change the world, so that we can have what we want.

Member Post

 

Deum et animam scire cupio: I yearn to know God and the soul.  So says the real Augustine in his 386 A. D. Soliloquies, one of four texts in his Cassiciacum Dialogues.  The other three are: Against the Academics, On the Happy Life, and On Order.  In Soliloquies Augustine also gives us this beautiful little prayer: Deus semper idem, noverim me, noverim te: […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Get your first month free.

Knowledge and Faith Can Be the Same Thing

 

F-K VennIt is commonly assumed that an item of knowledge and an article article of faith can never be the same thing. This assumption is mistaken. In this post, I will explain only one point: trust in authority can be a source of knowledge. That’s what faith is: trust. It’s still the first definition of “faith” in the dictionary. Also see the Latin fides and the Greek pistis.

So don’t believe the hype that categorically separates faith from knowledge. This separation ranges from the view William James attributes to a schoolboy (“Faith is when you believe something that you know ain’t true”) to Kant’s more sophisticated idea that “I had to deny knowledge in order to make room for faith” (in beliefs that might well be true).

We should also reject the hype that says that an argument from authority is necessarily fallacious. The best logic textbook in print will tell you otherwise. It will even tell you that there is such a thing as a valid argument appealing to an infallible authority! (“Valid” is a technical term in logic; be sure to look it up first if you’re inclined to complain that there are no infallible authorities.)