05. St. Augustine's Confessions

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    The Early Middle Ages, 284--1000 (HIST 210)

    Professor Freedman begins the lecture by considering the ways historians read the Confessions.In this work, St. Augustine gives unique insight into the life of an intellectual mind in Late Antiquity, into the impact of Christianity on the Roman Empire, and into the problems of early Christianity. The three major doctrinal concerns of the early Church were the problem of evil, the soul-body distinction, and issues of sin and redemption. In the Confessions, St. Augustine searches for explanations of these problems first in Manichaeism, then (Neo)Platonism, and finally Christianity.Underlying this narrative are Augustine's ideas of opposition to perfectionism, his exaltation of grace, and the notion of sin as indelible, not solvable.

    00:00 - Chapter 1. Why we read The Confessions
    08:04 - Chapter 2. A Brief Biography of Augustine
    15:03 - Chapter 3. The Problem of Evil
    25:30 - Chapter 4. Pears and Augustine's Conception of Sin
    38:53 - Chapter 5. Perfectability, Sin, and Grac

    Complete course materials are available at the Yale Online website: online.yale.edu


    This course was recorded in Fall 2011.

    Channel YaleCourses

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