Aquinas vs. Augustine on Their Varying Views of Women

Topics: Original sin, Thomas Aquinas, Augustine of Hippo Pages: 4 (1845 words) Published: May 30, 2011
Aquinas vs. Augustine on their varying views of women.
St Thomas Aquinas and St Augustine of Hippo are considered to be two of the greatest Christian theologians in the history of Christianity. Both of these men are apart of the same organization, the Church. Just by this fact it would be easy to assume that they agree on all major issues of the day but this is not the case. They have completely differing views with respect to women in secular and religious life corresponding with the idea of original sin, human sexuality, and social roles. Even in the modern Catholic Church they are still regarded as two of the most important doctors of the church despite their different teachings on key important aspects of leading a Christian life. This shows the variability within the institution of the Catholic Church and some degrees of disagreement within a major faith organization.

St Augustine of Hippo termed the idea of original sin. Nowhere in the history of the church had any such concept been taught. He was a man who lived a life of sin and promiscuity until he had an extreme conversion. After this conversion he needed a way to justify all his bad decisions. He did so by terming original sin as the first sin made by Eve that doomed all of mankind for the rest of days. Augustine blames Eve for all the bad experiences in his life, even for all the bad decisions that he has made. He uses original sin and reveals the idea in such a way that no one has to take responsibility for his or her actions because it is innate in us to be bad. Original sin gives people an ‘easy out’ to excuse all previous bad behavior. Never before had the term ‘original sin’ been placed on the sin’s of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Augustine’s example of an ideal woman, his mother, is even faulted by this original sin caused by Eve. “…the torments which she suffered were proof that she had inherited the legacy of Eve, seeking in sorrow what with sorrow she had brought into the world”...
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