A Brief Reflection on St. Augustine’s Confessions

St. Augustine uses his focus on the fact that God may exists in the same extent which wisdom and truth exists, which is as concepts or ideas in the mind but not reality. He shows that there is evidence of God but not a powerful creator. To Augustine, God exists but requires him to exist for the basis of his argument. St. Augustine focuses on memory as an unconscious knowledge, which eventually leads him to his knowledge of God. Augustine is no longer telling events of the past, but only of present time.

Augustine starts his analysis of memory in a description of a house.

The storehouse is a place where objects are retrieved, deposited, and re-stored; just like the memory where images are kept, and in need recovered. Augustine gives a characterization of memory as if it was materialistic; it is reliable, everything has its own place in it, and it can contain unlimited information. The memory exists in all things in the past, present and no one can take it away from us.

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St. Augustine believed that the ideas in someones memory must have been in his mind before he learned it, waiting to be recognized.

Augustine suggests, "It must have been that they were already in my memory, hidden away in its deeper recesses, in so remote a part of it that I might not have been able to think of them at all, if some other person had not brought them to the fore by teaching me about them" (X: chapter 10, 218).

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In recognizing an idea the inclusive memory he has in his mind. In addition memories that are neglected slip back into remote places of the memory and these memories evolve becoming new ones again. Augustine then started to focus on the search of God in his memory.

The search of God in one's memory was troubling matter for Augustine; God cannot be attained through the powers of memory, which beast's posses. Augustine is suggests looking for God in a different place, outside of the memory. An issues which is brought up by Augustine is the consequences of not finding God in the memory. In order to remember something, it must be in the memory. Therefore the question raised is: "How, then, am I to find you, if I have no memory of you? " (X: chapter 17, 224). This is the same question that was raised in book I of Confessions: How can we know God if we don't know what he looks like? Un like St.

Augustine's answer in book I, in Book X he suggests that even if something is lost from one's memory he should look for it in his memory. Augustine believed that one's memory could reform the knowledge of God, similarly to happiness that could be finding in enigmatic parts of the memory. "... and ask all men whether they wished to be happy, all would reply they did. But this could only happen if happiness itself, that is, the state which the word signifies, were to be found somewhere in their memories" (X: chapter 20,227). Augustine suggests that one had the knowledge of happiness in the past; therefore he knows what it is.

"It may be that we were all once happy individually, or it may be that we were all in Adam, the first sinner" (X: chapter 20, 226). Augustine concludes that he cannot find God in his sense, his emotions or his mind that is mutable. Augustine asks where he can find God if he is not in his memory, and concludes that there is one characteristic of God that can explain it. God is transcendent "Whether we approach you or depart from you, you are not confined in any place" (X: chapter 26, 231); God transcendent Augustine's mind where ever he was looking. In order for God to transcend the mind, it should have been known first.

Therefore, it can be observed that the search for God is still an interior search. Theological anthroplogy is the statement of understand both God and understand what is to be human. An open question, what is it to be human is in a sense that every actions of an individual and the communities determine what we as humans and the world is like. The only way to answer the questions can only be deteremined by what will happen to the world because of what we cause. In the relation to the discussions the ideas of St. Augustine and theological anthropology which is the concept of 'person'.


Updated: Dec 12, 2023
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A Brief Reflection on St. Augustine’s Confessions. (2016, Nov 22). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/a-brief-reflection-on-st-augustines-confessions-essay

A Brief Reflection on St. Augustine’s Confessions essay
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