Augustine of Hippo was born on November 13th in 354 in Tagaste in Numidia. He was one of the most important Christian theologists and philosophers of the antique, whose work has shaped the thinking of the far West. In his youth he studied rhetoric. Enthusiastic about Cicero’s “Hortensius” he turned to philosophy. He first followed the manichaeism, then skepticism and finally the neo-platonism. 383 Augustine went to Rome, then in 384 as a teacher of rhetoric to Milan. 387 the conversion to Christianity took place.
He subsequently resigned his teaching back-office abstained from marriage and led an almost monastic live in seclusion on an estate in Cassiciacum. At the Easter Vigil, Augustine was then together with his son and his friend Alypius baptized by Adeodatus of Ambrose. 389 – after the death of his mother – he returned to North Africa. 390 or 91 he was ordained by Bishop Valerius, a priest. Augustine was bishop of Hippo until 397. He died in 430 during the siege by the Vandals.
Augustine’s philosophy was partially taken from Plato but has modified elements in the Christian sense. Politically, Augustine respects the state with its regulations as necessary and agrees with a separation of church and state. He holds numerous political and church dogma clashes with Manichaeism, Donatism and Pelagianism.
In his “Confessions,” it turns out that his life was dominated very much by looking inside and experiencing God as light and inner voice. The most famous quote is preceded by the book
“Our heart is restless until it rests in you.”
“Reminded through this I will return to myself and entered my soul under your leadership. And I could, because you stood by me to help. I entered and saw whilst my inner eye was still dumb, whether this eye of my soul, or whether the immutable light to my mind, this is not the normal and to all visible flesh, not even if it were larger, but of the same nature and shining far, far brighter until it fills everything with his size. No, not like this, but different, very different and vastly different from the above. (…) You destroyed the glare of weakened eyesight, because you shone power over me, and I trembled with love and fear, and I found that I was far from you at a distance of my unlikeness. I felt as if I heard your voice from above, which should say: I am the food of the strong, grow and you will enjoy me. You will not turn me into you, even though the nature of your food, you will be changed into me. And I realized how you chasten mankind because of sin, and how you let the same cobweb of my soul shrink, and I said: Is truth of nothing just because it neither expands through the finite nor the infinite space? And you called to me from a distance: Yes, it is. I am. He I am. And then I heard, as one only hears in the heart, and all doubt left me completely. I would have rather doubted that I live than to doubt that there was a truth, which one perceives in the creation of the world. ” (7/10)