Compare Augustine’s theory of concupiscence developed at length in the Confessions
Read all of the discussion prompts below, and then briefly (with at least 300 words) respond to these questions
4.Compare Augustine’s theory of “concupiscence” – developed at length in the Confessions (see especially pp. 51-54 and 61-62) – with Dante’s depiction of sin in the Inferno. What does concupiscence mean to Augustine? (Augustine was one of the first Christian thinkers to give us the notion of “original sin,” deriving from Adam and Eve. You may do some light research on this, but be sure to mention and credit sources in any response you make.) Likewise, Augustine says that “every disorder of the soul is its own punishment“/”every disordered soul will be its own punishment” (50). Compare this with Dante’s depiction of sin – heavily influenced by Augustine’s work from nearly a thousand years earlier. Do both writers have exactly the same view of sin, or is there some difference? If so, what?
5. Pick an episode of Augustine’s Confessions and compare it to some passage in the bible. Does Augustine mean for his readers to make this comparison? How can you tell? What meaning does Augustine mean to add to the biblical text with the account from his personal life? What clear message(s) does Augustine give about how to practice being a Christian? And how does the intertextuality of Augustine’s autobiography and the bible add meaning to either or both texts? (I.e. how does a strong knowledge of the bible help a reader draw more meaning from Augustine’s account? Does this implicit communication with a certain group of readers help us to read “between the lines,” so to speak? Does it tell us something about Augustine’s purpose for writing?)
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