Article

Augustine

James Wetzel

in The Oxford Handbook of Religion and Emotion

Published in print December 2007 | ISBN: 9780195170214
Published online September 2009 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/oxfordhb/9780195170214.003.0020

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Religion and Theology

 Augustine

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The dazzling display of emotional intelligence that gives the Confessions, Augustine's most famous work, its resonance for students of the inner life is evident, albeit in more muted hues, in nearly everything that he wrote: sermons, letters, scriptural commentaries, polemical and apologetic works, and theological meditations. This essay examines Augustine's theology of the emotions. First, it takes a closer look at Stoicism in City of God and Augustine's eventual rejection of its theory and practice of emotion. Augustine's rejection of Stoicism is importantly symptomatic of a shift in his notion of will, from a facility for consent to a focus of internal conflict and incoherence. This essay also discusses the connection between sin and self-undoing by entering into Augustine's fascination with a first or original will to sin. The primary resources used are his psychological analysis in City of God of the Adam and Eve of Genesis and his parallel analysis of himself in Confessions, where he describes a fall of his own.

Keywords: Augustine; Confessions; City of God; internal conflict; sin; Genesis; will; theology; Stoicism

Article.  8054 words. 

Subjects: Religion ; Sociology of Religion ; Christianity ; Religious Studies

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