The Confessions Book XI: St. Augustine and Time

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Essay #: 060136
Total text length is 14,976 characters (approximately 10.3 pages).

Excerpts from the Paper

The beginning:
The Confessions Book XI: St. Augustine and Time
In Book XI of Confessions, St. Augustine examines the problem of time and its relationship to God’s creation of all of existence. Time, which is such a key aspect of human life and all material existence, obviously holds a central place in Augustine’s sense of creation. Or, better, as Augustine points out, “I know well enough what it is, provided that nobody asks me” (264). Though the concept of concept of time is a fundamental part of our day-to-day lives and a practical part of existence, pinning down exactly the nature of time is challenging at best. For Augustine, approaching the issue from a purely philosophical perspective and not armed with our modern, physical understandings of the...
The end:
.....istence of an eternal God in a state that does not include time or the causality on which our understanding of the material world depends. Augustine’s final attempt at understanding time, given these rigorous preconditions, reaches towards questioning whether or not time is even a meaningful part of the universe; perhaps it does not exist in anything but abstract terms. Whether or not this is the case was beyond Augustine’s ability to prove; however, we should at least suggest that he might have had an easier time in conceptualizing time had he started in the provable material world rather than the divine and admittedly unknowable realm of God.
Works Cited
St. Augustine. The Confessions. Trans. R.S. Pine-Coffin. London: Penguin Books, 1961.