Thesis Blog: Augustine, more confusing than you thought

We talked, briefly, maybe five minutes total about Augustine in my church history class yesterday. (We’re still in the first few centuries AD, so Augustine isn’t quite ready to make his appearance.) But it got me excited, and worn out, and overwhelmed.

I asked Darren, my instructor, if he has any books or articles he’d recommend, so I don’t have to sort through centuries of work on the theologian. And Darren responded with the sentiment I’ve already gleaned from my research:

Nowadays people like to put all the blame on him for centuries of hating the body. But Augustine’s more nuanced than that.

(All of that — totally paraphrased.) Darren also said that this is why he stays away from Augustine (greaaat.). The guy is way more complex than what  contemporary interpretations suggest.

I say that to tell you that once again I’m confused about what I’m doing. I wrote the most recent blog post a few days ago, claiming I figured something out. Nope. If Augustine is the prototypical Updikean male, then why focus on a book about a female? Shouldn’t I focus on all Updike books? Or do I just choose one inadequate example?

So here I am again, filled with Kierkegaardian dread.

Praise Kierkegaard, who splintered Hegel’s creed
Upon the rock of Existential need.

About Lauren Sawyer

I am an assistant instructor at a graduate school in Seattle, Washington, and I hold a master of the arts in theology and culture. I love coffee, rainy days, and John Updike. Learn more about me at