CHHT 539 Augustine of Hippo: Self and Society
This course is a seminar engaging two of Augustine’s civilization-altering books: The Confessions and The City of God. Augustine’s assessment of the cultures in which he was raised and their inadequacy for sustaining human life, and his exposition of a radical alternative in the life of the Trinity, raises acute political and social as well as personal issues. The primary focus of the course will be a close literary and theological reading of major portions of Augustine’s text in translation (students who read Latin will be encouraged to work with the original). Secondary readings — biographical, sociopolitical, theological, and feminist — will help widen and sharpen the questions brought to the text. Two papers required.