Augustine, bishop & teacher of the faith.

28 Aug

Augustine of Hippo by Sandro Botticelli, c. 1490.

Augustine (Aurelius Augustinus) was one of the greatest theologians of Western Christianity, and today in the Anglican lectionary is his lesser festival. his writings foundational in the development of Western Christianity and Western philosophy though, he also has a large impact in Eastern Christianity where he carries the additional title of Blessed.

Bishop of Hippo in present-day Algeria which is where most of his writing took place. such was the forces writing at the time that his contemporary, Jerome, labeled Augustine as “established anew the ancient Faith.”

Wikipedia sums up his life best:

After his conversion to Christianity and his baptism in 387, Augustine developed his own approach to philosophy and theology, accommodating a variety of methods and different perspectives. He believed that the grace of Christ was indispensable to human freedom and he framed the concepts of original sin and just war.

When the Western Roman Empire began to disintegrate, Augustine developed the concept of the Catholic Church as a spiritual City of God , distinct from the material Earthly City. His thoughts profoundly influenced the medieval worldview.

Many Protestants, especially Calvinists, consider him to be one of the theological fathers of the Protestant Reformation due to his teachings on salvation and divine grace.

 

Collect for the day:

Merciful Lord,
who turned Augustine from his sins
to be a faithful bishop and teacher:
grant that we may follow him in penitence and discipline
till our restless hearts find their rest in you;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

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