The Prodigal Son: Some Psychological Aspects of Augustine's Conversion to Christianity

Augustine's conversion is considered exemplary for its Christian testimony. However, the psychological aspects are also relevant, for Augustine's conversion to Christianity was as much inspired by personal and cultural ambitions as by religious convictions. For Augustine, the conversion to...

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Bibliographic Details
Published in:Journal of religion and health
Main Author: Nauta, Rein 1944-
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
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Published: [2008]
In:Journal of religion and health
Year: 2008, Volume: 47, Issue: 1, Pages: 75-87
Further subjects:B Augustine
B Narcissism
B Absent father
B Conversion
B Suffering mother
Online Access: Volltext (Resolving-System)
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Summary:Augustine's conversion is considered exemplary for its Christian testimony. However, the psychological aspects are also relevant, for Augustine's conversion to Christianity was as much inspired by personal and cultural ambitions as by religious convictions. For Augustine, the conversion to the Christian faith spelled a life of asceticism—a life of celibacy, a virtuous and chaste existence, which also offered him a means of escape from the threatening ambiguity of parental relations and a chance to realize the cultural ideal of the civilized philosopher who has subjugated the passions of the flesh. In this paper we explore the psychological dynamics of the absent father, the suffering mother and the prodigal son and the role they played in Augustine's conversion to Christianity.
ISSN:1573-6571
Contains:Enthalten in: Journal of religion and health
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1007/s10943-007-9134-1