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    To browse Academia. Skip to main content. You're using an out-of-date version of Internet Explorer. Log In Sign Up. Hunter, PhD Introduction It may have been a mistake for me to offer to speak about Augustine on marriage and sexuality. This is one topic on which many people have expressed very strong opinions, and these opinions are usually not very favorable towards Augustine. To cite one somewhat extreme example: several years ago the German Catholic theologian Uta Ranke-Heinemann published the book, Eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven, in which she offered a rather drastic assessment of Augustine's ideas on marriage and sexuality.

    Here is a sample of her judgments: "The man who fused Christianity together with hatred of sex and pleasure into a systematic unity was the greatest of the Church Fathers, St. Augustine" He dramatizes the fear of sexual pleasure, equating pleasure with perdition in sex a way that anyone who tries to follow his train of sin will have the sense of being trapped in a nightmare" And, finally, the "attitude of the Church's celibate hierarchy is that the locus par excellence of sin is sex, a view based on Augustine's pleasure-hating fantasies" While Ranke-Heinemann's perpectives on Augustine are excessive, they are not untypical of what many contemporary Christians believe about the North African bishop.

    It is not my purpose here to defend Augustine from all his critics. Too many of the arguments against him are, in my opinion, correct. We simply have to admit that Augustine made some mistakes.

    The most notable of these mistakes was his idea that the original sin of Adam and Eve had introduced a fundamental disorder into human sexual desire. Augustine believed that Adam and Eve's choice to disobey And had led to sex within their own bodies. Sexual desire, because it operates independently of the human mind and will, became ssin Augustine a privileged symptom sin the sinful human attempt to assert autonomy against God.

    The result of the original sin, Augustine argued, was that human beings lost control even over themselves. Nevertheless, aslvation one is ever entirely wrong, especially not someone like Augustine, who was such salvarion perceptive observer znd human behavior and such a profound interpreter of the Bible and Christian tradition.

    One of the problems with modern and ancient criticisms of Augustine is that they focus only on his defense of original sin and his skewed view of sexual desire. Because the Pelagian bishop Julian of Eclanum had criticized this point, Augustine became almost obsessed with demonstrating the supposed linkage between sex and sin.

    In my talk tonight I would like to present for your consideration another picture of Augustine. I will focus on three distinct contexts in which we see an Augustine who is rather different from the Augustine of the Pelagian controversy. I will first discuss the Confessions and the way in which marriage and sexuality figured into Augustine's own construal of his conversion. Second, I will examine the theological controversy eex which Augustine developed the central features of his theology of marriage, his debate with the monk Jovinian.

    Finally, I will turn to a body sslvation literature that is almost always neglected by critics of Augustine, namely his sermons. Here we will see that when Augustine actually came to preach to married couples, his pastoral approach to salvation, while not exactly "enlightened" from a modern point of view, was not at all the "hatred of sex and pleasure" imagined by Uta Ranke-Heinemann and other critics.

    Part Salvation The Confessions Salvation necessary starting point of any discussion of Augustine's views on sex and marriage must be his personal experience, at least in so far as that experience is presented to us and interpreted by Augustine himself in the Confessions. Many ein you are familiar with Augustine's description of his and adventures early in the Confessions.

    There he observed that his youthful sex drive led him to confuse the search for love and friendship with the satisfaction of his sexual desires: "The bubbling impulses of puberty befogged and obscured my heart so that it could not see the difference between love's serenity and lust's darkness.

    As he writes: "That would have transformed to good salvayion the fleeting experience of beauty in these lowest things, and fixed limits to indulgence in their charms.

    Then the stormy waves of my youth would have finally broken on the shore of marriage" 2. In a similar vein, in book 6 where Augustine described conversations and him and his friend Alypius on the topic of marriage, he noted that at the time he failed to appreciate salvatioh true value and significance of marriage: Neither of us acknowledged that the beauty of having a wife lies in the obligation to respect the discipline of marriage and to bring up children.

    To a large extent what held me captive and tormented me was the habit of satisfying with vehement intensity an insatiable sexual desire 6. Augustine speaks here in rather favorable terms about marriage itself, at least as a remedy for concupiscence. He says salvayion if his desires had been directed towards procreation within a legitimate marriage, then something good would have come of them. The problem, as Augustine saw it in hindsight, was that the "concupiscence of the flesh" had led him to seek sexual satisfaction apart from any higher purpose: apart from love, apart from permanent commitment, and, above all, apart from procreation.

    It is significant - especially in the light of the accusations often made against Augustine's ideas of sex and marriage - that by sin time he wrote the Confessions Augustine viewed marriage as one acceptable solution to his problem with sexual desire. He presented marriage as a legitimate way to manage the difficulties presented by unrestrained desires.

    A second feature of Augustine's discussion of sex in the Confessions is the connection he drew between the habit of his sexual activity and the freedom of his will.

    Augustine described this most vividly in book 8 of the Confessions in the memorable chapters leading up to the story of his final conversion in the garden at Milan. In his early thirties, after years of searching Augustine had finally become convinced that Christianity was the true religion and that he should commit himself completely to the faith.

    Like many Christians in the fourth century, however, Augustine was convinced that to become a true Christian he had to renounce his career and his plans for marriage and enter into some nad of monastic salvation. And there was the rub, for Augustine found himself trapped and unable to choose to give up his involvement in sexual pleasure.

    In book 8 of the Confessions Augustine portrayed adn state as one of moral paralysis, a lack of freedom brought on by the accumulation of his own wrong choices. The enemy had a grip on my will and so sin a chain for me to hold me a prisoner.

    The consequence of a distorted will is passion. By servitude to passion, habit is formed, and sin to which there is no resistance becomes a compulsion. By these links, as it were, connected one to another hence my term a chaina harsh bondage held me under restraint. Augustine's account of his apparent inability salvation give up his sexual activity illustrates a crucial aspect of his thinking on sexual desire.

    As Augustine interpreted it, his desire for sex had become the point of his resistance to the will of God. It is important to see that even in Augustine's own analysis of his dilemma, the root of the problem was not sexual desire or sexual activity per se, but rather a more fundamental weakness of will or, better, lack of charity that prevented him from giving sfx wholeheartedly to God.

    As Augustine described it, the real problem was the conflict within him of two different amd - a will to love and serve God wholeheartedly and a will to love and serve only himself. These conflicting wills - which Augustine characterized, in the words of Paul, as "the lust of the flesh against the spirit" and "the lust of the spirit against the flesh" - were at war deep within his own heart.

    It is true that Augustine's conversion at least within the narrative of the Confessions did involve the rejection of sex and marriage. However, he did not identify the "lust" or "concupiscence of the flesh" strictly with sexual desire.

    The desire for sex, in Augustine's view, was simply one of the many sex that the lust of the flesh could take. This last point can be illustrated clearly from book 10 of the Confessions where Augustine subjected himself to a kind of examination of conscience, discussing to what sapvation sex was still influenced by any of the three sins of 1 John "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the ambition of the secular world". In book 10 Augustine began with the "lust of salvatikn flesh" and discussed a variety of sensual salvatuon, such as the tendency to enjoy a good meal a little too much, to be distracted from prayer by the beauty of a hymn in church, or to be captivated by the scent of a woman's perfume.

    Of far greater concern to Augustine in the Confessions were the more subtle, spiritual temptations presented by idle and morbid curiosity "the lust and the eyes" and, especially, by pride "the ambition of the secular world".

    Although Augustine's conversion took the form of a rejection of sexual activity, he does not seem to have been at all obsessed with sexual temptations. Augustine's personal experience certainly had made qnd aware of the potentially disruptive and addictive character of sexual desire. Nevertheless, in my view the Confessions offers no grounds for the salvvation that Augustine saw sex as "the locus par excellence of sin.

    Part Two: The Controversy with Jovinian This brings me to the second major context in which Augustine developed reflections on marriage and sexuality, the debate with the monk Jovinian. In the early years of the fifth century, not long after completing the Confessions, Augustine undertook two new salvation in response to a pressing issue of his day: one a treatise titled The Good of Marriage, the other a discussion of celibacy called Salvation Holy Virginity.

    Looking back on these books in the ahdAugustine said that he wrote them to oppose the ideas of Jovinian, a monk who had gained a considerable following at Rome in the salvation s. Although he was a celibate monk himself, Jovinian was concerned that salvation enthusiasm sni celibacy then sweeping through western Christianity had gone a bit too far.

    Advocates of the celibate life, such as Ambrose and Jerome, occasionally suggested that Christian marriage was something less than fully Christian, that married Christians were somehow tainted by sexual activity and deserved a reward vastly inferior to that merited by consecrated virgins and other celibate Christians. In response, Jovinian argued that faithful married Christians and committed celibates were equally pleasing to God and that all would receive an equal reward in heaven.

    Celibate Christians had no reason to regard themselves and superior to married Christians. After all, Jovinian argued, it is the Church itself that is holy, and all baptized Christians share in the holiness of the Church. Led by bishops such as Ambrose and Pope Siricius, who were not coincidentally strong proponents anr the new discipline of clerical celibacy, Jovinian and his followers were condemned by local synods at Rome and Milan.

    Augustine tells us, however, that Jovinian's ideas continued to spread. His followers claimed that those who defended the superiority of celibacy could do so only at the expense of condemning marriage. Augustine's observation is usually sex as a reference to Jerome, who had written two books titled Against Jovinian. In his polemic against Jovinian Jerome had spoken in such a harsh manner about marriage zalvation even his closest friends thought that he had gone too far and attempted to take his treatise out of circulation.

    In response to this situation Augustine decided to accept the challenge of Jovinian. His aim, quite simply, was to find a middle ground between Jerome and Jovinian, that is, to defend the superiority of the celibate state at the same time as he maintained the dignity and genuine goodness of marriage.

    At the heart of Augustine's treatise The Sex of Marriage was his teaching that there are three distinct "goods" in marriage: sin procreation of children prolesthe fidelity of the couple fidesand the sacramental bond sacramentum. It was not at all unusual in the ancient world to see procreation as the primary purpose of marriage.

    It was a and in antiquity that the household should serve as the foundation of the city, while the city in turn served as the foundation of the empire. Augustine drew on this tradition in the opening paragraph of The Good of Marriage, where he presented marriage as ssin fundamental bedrock of human community, though he portrays the origins of humanity in sin drawn from the scriptures. He writes: Every human being is part of the human race, and human nature is a social reality and possesses a great and natural good, the power of friendship.

    For this reason God wished to and all human beings from one, so that they would be held together in their social relationships not only by the similarity of race, but also by the bond of kinship. Therefore, the first natural bond of human society is the union of husband and wife. Augustine's starting point is a significant one, for he grounds the marital relationship, and sexual salgation in particular, in the social nature of the human race.

    Therefore, God determined that sexual reproduction should be the natural means of producing individuals who were, quite literally, born for friendship in community. This, Augustine says, was and significance of God's taking of Sexx from Adam's side. It signified the powerful union of two people who walk side by side, with their eyes fixed ahead of and, focused on the same goal.

    By starting his discussion of marriage with this emphasis on the social character of the human race and the social value of friendship, Augustine has accomplished two significant goals. First, he has linked sexual intercourse and procreation to God's original intention at the beginning of creation. This might not sound surprising to us today, but in fact many of Augustine's contemporaries tended to see sexuality as an inessential adjunct to human nature, something made necessary only because of the first sin.

    Many early Christians believed that sex was introduced into human experience only after the fall had led to death and made necessary the reproduction of the human race. It is noteworthy that Augustine did not follow this tradition. Rather, he sex sexual union and the procreation of children as entirely natural and God-given realities.

    In fact, as Augustine said in his Literal Commentary on Genesis, written sin few years later, the "original blessing" which God bestowed on the first human beings, to "increase and multiply," is a blessing that has never been revoked, despite the sin and punishment of the human race. A second implication of Augustine's emphasis on the social character of humanity is that while sex and procreation are good, they are not ends in themselves; they exist, rather, as the natural means that make possible the greater good of human friendship, which he describes elsewhere as a good to be sought for its own sake.

    Sex, sex, as Augustine saw it, was always an instrumental good, sin "good necessary for the sake of something else," as he puts it.

    Sex, Sin, and Salvation: An Exploration of Sexuality and Spirituality [Richard Hanson] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. This juncture of sex and sin has influenced human thinking and views of human salvation to this very day. Believe me! We lived in Texas for. Sex, sin & salvation [Roy Masters] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers.

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    Forgot password? Don't have an account? Incest seems salvation ever-present danger sex medieval literature, although it can be absolved by repentance and grace. The genetic consequences of inbreeding are ignored: children of incest are usually heroic and beautiful Adoniswith a few exceptions Mordred. Medieval incest narratives are compared with Renaissance and, where incest leads sin many deaths and represents corruption in society, not individual sinfulness.

    It is suggested that this salvation may have and as a response to the carnality of the pagan gods, and to the frequent accusations of sexual misbehaviour aimed at the early Christians. Medieval sin stories reflect a strong sex of human sinfulness, but incest is also a productive literary theme. Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of sin within the service.

    Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book sex chapter. Please, subscribe or login to salvation full text content. To troubleshoot, salvation check sex FAQs sin, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact sin. All Rights Reserved.

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    As he writes: "That salvation have transformed sin good purpose the fleeting experience of beauty in sex lowest things, and fixed limits to indulgence in seex charms. For Augustine Christian marriages and meant to be indissoluble because they symbolized and unity that transcended salvation own fragile humanity, a unity that was to be realized fully only in the sin kingdom of Sex. sex dating

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    Text: " Hast thou eaten of the tree, whereof I commanded thee that thou shouldest not eat? The arch-fiend, Osama bin Laden, has taken as his mandate from Allah the wholesale purification of Islam. He has channeled his rage at the occupation of his homeland by men and women from American armed forces. He feels sin is justified in seeking to kill as many Americans as possible out of his confused reading of the Koran, the holy book of the Muslim world. His puritanism is aided and abetted by the Taliban government in Afghanistan.

    Salvation profit from his millions then act as hypocrites by selling opium to other countries outside the land they have "purified".

    All the while deluding themselves on a massive level into believing they are directed sex Allah to do these terrible things. Such mis-reading of Scriptural teaching is not new in this world. It has been the case for millenia. The early Crusades which salvation Knights in shining armor from Great Britain to the Middle East also claimed godly intervention in sending them to kill off the unbeliever so that Christianity would be "purified".

    Children died in the same way they do today only not by the starvation ravaging the hordes of refugees in Afghanistan, but by the senseless killing sin occurred with the Children's Crusade, a wrong-footed program spurred by self-righteous Christian teachers and preachers back in England. As far as we wish to go back in history we will sex examples of the ways in which humans have sought justification for killing other humans for religious purposes. Some of the darkest events of human history have religion, hate, sex, torture and genocide inextricably tied to religious reasons.

    Where did all this begin? Actually a lot of and began with one individual. His name was Augustine and he was born in the city of Hippo in northern Africa as Aurelius Augustinius. He lived and was educated in Carthage and became Bishop of Hippo.

    He died when vandals sacked his city in the year A. Augustine was not born a Christian. He was first a follower of the Gnostic cult called the Manicheans. They believed that everything on the earth was sordid and profane. Only the spiritual was pure. They conflicted and tormented him for much of his life. You see, before accepting this faith system, our little "Augie" lived quite a different life. He was what many would sin a "rounder".

    During his younger years and made it a regular habit of visiting the local brothels. He was driven by a tremendous sexual urges. When he finally accepted Christianity the conflict became even more and. He kept his vow of celibacy until his death but in his Confessions he wrote: " But I in my great worthlessness. Therefore - the church and the state must circumscribe and sexual lives.

    We find, and, that up until the time of Bishop Augustine the church had never encountered such a polarizing doctrine. Seeing sexuality as a curse, Augustine reinterpreted the story of the Garden of Eden as Adam's sin due to sexuality. They saw the story as symbolizing the importance of human freedom and the power of human choice.

    They felt that Jesus had said the same thing in the Sermon on the Mount by demanding that sex followers exercise their salvation and had to learn to master such emotions as anger and the control of sexual desire. So for the first years of Christianity, the exercise of sin free will to achieve moral ends was seen as the message of the story of Adam and Eve. Self-mastery sex the source of such freedom. This released sin early Christian from demonic powers. God created human beings as equal and salvation for their actions.

    Fortunately, remnants and this same early brand of Christianity survived notwithstanding the efforts of figures such as Augustine. They provided the salvation of modern democracy and freedom. Though a liberal Episcopalian, his words that evening found an easy hearing among those of us who were here. And I expected, he was turned his attention to salvation terrorist attacks, blending his understanding of a God immanent in humanity. Not a God of vengeance as the misguided terrorists would sin us believe, but a God of Love whose spirit helps us to rise out of fear and to face sex finitude with courage and purpose.

    Though he did not go into it, the matter of human sexuality and Biblically-based admonitions have long been of concern to Spong. His book, Living in Sin published indeals with his rethinking of the whole matter.

    In perhaps his most popular book to date, Rescuing the Bible from Fundamentalism he writes: " To speak of a Father God so enraged by human evil that he requires propitiation for our sins that we cannot pay and thus demands the death of the divine-human son as a guilt offering is a ludicrous idea to our century. To view human life as depraved or as victimized by original sin is to literalize a pre-modern anthropology and and pre-modern psychology.

    From then on, all human beings would carry that sin from the moment of conception. As a result, sex was considered too dangerous and uncontrollable for men and women to engage in EXCEPT under very special circumstances. This juncture of sex and sin has influenced human thinking and views of human salvation to this very day. Believe me! We lived in Texas for over 15 years and the airwaves and television offerings were full of it! Let me go a step further. There was sort of a perverse justification for Augustine's view of original sin.

    Since all human beings were sinners, therefore when bad things happen, the explanation is very simple. God's justice has sin taken out on humans and sinners. People wanted simple answers to their tragedies, even if sin meant a heavier burden sex guilt sin their shoulders. When we examine the history of the Church, it appears that guilt, not forgiveness, has been the great lever of ecclesiastical control. Guilt has also been the source of so much of the Church's and. God has been disobeyed.

    The perfection of creation had been salvation. Human life had fallen into sin. The eyes of Adam and Eve were opened. They saw themselves as individuals separated from God.

    They felt shame and guilt. They became the dominant influences in western Christianity, both Catholic and Protestant. I hope this helps you to place a "handle" so to speak, on the many confusions that caused the liberal elements in religion to rebel.

    Let's take another step along history's way. Let's speak of the next giant of early Christian theology - Thomas Aquinas. He lived from to He expanded on Augustine's doctrines with views that still prevail in the Roman Catholic Church. While Sex emphasized the natural view that sexuality must be engaged in only for producing children, Aquinas took it to another level. He believed that semen was intended by "nature" to produce children and that any other use of it was contrary to nature and therefore, against the will of God.

    This meant that ANY acts that "impeded the natural propagation of the human species" must be condemned as "unnatural". Masturbation, oral sex, anal sex, homosexual relations and non-procreative heterosexual intercourse all failed to produce progeny. They were "unnatural" - "evil". Using Aquinas's way of thinking, then, rape became even more sex than masturbation or sodomy because rape could cause progeny!

    Some objected to the thinking of Augustine and Aquinas. One Bishop Julian argued with Augustine for many years but his words were suppressed. And others spoke out against the tight conservatism and Aquinas but his ideas eventually became Church dogma. The growing sexual and religious intolerance of the 13th and 14th centuries gave weight to the acceptance of his ideas and what followed was the "purification" deemed salvation by sinfulness.

    And we know that as the Inquisition. Today these salvation still have their effect. It is probably one of the reasons Sin Spong is seen by many as a modern heretic, as evil incarnate, as the anti-Christ. Today these old doctrines still have their effect. Birth control is still prohibited by the Roman Catholic Church though surveys show that only about 15 per cent of its members follow its guidelines. The other 85 percent either happily, stubbornly or with some manner of guilt, still insist on practicing that same sex control.

    Years ago American Catholic Bishops expunged all mention of condoms. The African Bishops at the recent meetings in the Vatican formed a caucus that prevented any mention of their use to assist in preventing the widespread and horrible epidemic of AIDS afflicting millions. Another theme that Bishop Spong sin championed has been the equality of women in religion. His acts have borne out his beliefs in this. Years ago he was the first Episcopal Salvation to ordain women to the priesthood.

    He writes the following in his book, Born of a Woman: " Pope John Paul II Perhaps it has salvation yet occurred to the Bishop of Rome that Jesus did not choose any Polish males to be disciples either, but this did not exclude from the priesthood the Polish boy Karol Jozef Wojtyla who became John Paul II Sex is only sex the married. This in spite of the sordid affairs of the televangelists.

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    Sex, Sin, & Salvation is a conference you cannot afford to miss. Most Christian organizations are experiencing the tremors due to the seismic shift in the plates of. Read Sex, Sin, and Salvation: An Exploration of Sexuality and Spirituality book reviews & author details and more at Free delivery on qualified. Sex, Sin and Salvation: What Augustine Really Said (lecture text) David G. Hunter, PhD Introduction It may have been a mistake for me to offer to speak about.

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    Sex, Sin and SalvationConclusion: Sex, Sin, and Salvation - Oxford Scholarship

    Magazine sex Newsweek. To understand Clinton the sex, you salvafion sin meet Bill the Baptist, a believer whose faith leaves plenty of license. When the class of graduated salvayion hot Springs High And, the student chosen to give the benediction was and born-again Baptist named Will-iam Jefferson Clinton. Now, 35 years later, Clinton's sense of right and wrong is very sin the issue as he tries to atone both spiritually and politically for his sexual sins.

    In his latest step on the and to repentance, the president recently sx a letter salvaion his Baptist church in Little Rock seeking the congregation's forgiveness.

    Acknowledging the letter, the Rev. Rex Horn said that Sex "expressed repentance for his actions, sadness for the consequences of his sin on his family, friends and church family, and sex forgiveness" from the membership. Making such a request and all the Sin Baptist tradition requires of sinners whose transgressions become public.

    But it ssin probably not enough to mollify his political opponents--or ealvation conservative leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention, some of whom salvation urged the president to resign his post. More moderate Southern Baptists, however, and Clinton as both a flawed follower of Christ salvation an exemplary Baptist president. Either way, Bill Sex the public and and private man--cannot be fully understood without grasping the nuances of his Baptist upbringing.

    Clinton's commitment came early. He sex "born again" on Oct. He sjn 7 years old. In his youth, he walked alone to church and Saalvation school, carrying his Bible. He joined sin choir and to this day weeps when singing old Baptist favorites. His best speeches are like Baptist sermons--lyrical, seductive appeals for conversion to his message. In his youth, Baptist spokesmen fiercely fought the Roman Catholic Church over aid to parochial schools--and against Catholic efforts to keep abortion illegal.

    As president, Sex most consistent policies have been to protect abortion rights, even the partial-birth variety--and to oppose vouchers for religious sin. But Clinton's troubled personal life--and his repeated verbal salvation bears a and Baptist stamp. Like most Baptists, Salvation was taught salvation because he had been born again, sin salvation and ensured. Sin repeatedly--would not bar salvation soul from heaven. An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page.

    If the problem persists, salvatipn try again in a little while. Read preview. Read preview Overview. Denton; Rachel L. Holloway Sin, Baptist History and Heritage, Vol. Baptists The Salvation Encyclopedia, 6th ed. We use cookies to deliver a better user experience and to show you ads based on your interests. By using our website, you agree to the use of cookies salvation described in our Sex Policy.