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Augustine, Sex, and the 21st Century Repercussions

A Bible and Beyond Discussion

Monday, August 28, 2023
Facebook Event Page
Guest Scholar: Dr. Sarah Morice-Brubaker
with host Dr. Shirley Paulson

Augustine, Sex, and 21st-Century Repercussions

Monday, August 28, 2023
8:00 – 9:00 pm Eastern Time
Facebook Event Page

Dr. Sarah Morice-Brubaker (with host Dr. Shirley Paulson)

Augustine of Hippo (345 – 430 CE) was an important and still highly influential Christian leader of the late fourth and early fifth centuries. His views on sexuality are often singled out for scorn, and with good reason. But did Augustine really say all of the things about sexuality that he is blamed for? Did he really portray sexual desire as bad, embodied delight as sinful, bodies as inferior to spirit, and redeemed sexuality as joyless? In this Bible and Beyond Discussion, we will consider these questions with Dr. Sarah Morice Brubaker. She suggests that Augustine’s views on sexuality do deserve critical appraisal, but that the writings on sexual ethics for which he is often criticized are not accurate portrayals of Augustine’s thought. The criticism comes particularly from progressive circles, and it should be reconsidered. Sarah thinks that Augustine’s actual theology of sex has significant problems and tensions. But it is also far more ambiguous, haunted, and perceptive than the caricatures suggest. The real Augustine proves far more capable of interrogating our own cultural assumptions. As we think about these questions, we’ll be in a position to evaluate his assumptions about the sexual activity and standards for his age too.

Text used in this discussion:

Augustine’s City of God, Book VI, chapter 9