Humanities
MNSU Augustine Experience with The Manichees Questions

Minnesota State University - Mankato

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Test 2 Study Guide Test 2 will be online. It will be OPEN BOOK, OPEN NOTES but it will be timed, and it must be completed by the deadline of Wednesday, March 25, 2020. The exam covers the following sections from Confessions: 1.1.1–1.20.31; 4.1.1–4.12.19; 5.13.23–5.14.25; 7.9.13–7.21.27; 3.4.7–3.12.21; 5.3.4–5.7.13; 6.3.3–6.5.8; 9.8.17–9.12.37. Format: The exam will consist of two parts. The first part will be a series of short questions. Many will be multiple choice or T/F questions. In the second part, you will be presented with a passage from the text, and then you will be required to answer a few specific questions about the passage. The questions in part two are likely to be a little bit harder than those in part 1. Study questions: The following questions are designed to help you study. These are not exactly the same questions that will be on the exam, but if you are able to answer these questions well, you should do well on the exam. Book 1 1. In Augustine’s opening invocation, he says that human beings long to praise God and that “our heart is unquiet until it rests in [God]” (Conf., 1.1.1). How does this idea reflect the experience Augustine recounts in Books 1–9? 2. In 1.6.7–1.7.12, Augustine describes his infancy. He does not remember his infancy but he makes inferences about what it must have been like from the way he has seen other infants behave. What is the incident Augustine describes in 1.7.11 that is intended to show us that babies are capable of sinning? 3. What is Augustine’s opinion of the practice of beating pupils who are lazy about learning? (1.9.14–1.10.16) 4. Why was it decided to postpone Augustine’s baptism? (1.11.17) 5. How does Augustine think that our desires are shaped by the literature we read. See especially 1.17.26 and 1.18.28. 6. Why do you think Augustine ends Book 1 with a prayer of thanksgiving? Book 3 7. Why was reading Cicero’s Hortensius a positive experience for Augustine? What was missing? (3.4.7) 8. What was Augustine’s initial impression of the Christian bible? (3.5.9) 9. What do you think of the idea that human beings have a deep longing for Truth but often try to satisfy it with superficial imitations? 10. When Monica asked a bishop to talk Augustine out of Manicheeism, how did he respond and why? (3.12.21) Book 4 11. Augustine acquired a brief interest in astrology, but there was “a certain man of deep insight” who talked him out of it (4.3.5). How did this man talk Augustine out of pursuing astrology? 12. Describe the series of events that take place when Augustine’s close friend dies in Thagaste (4.4.7–4.4.9). Be able to say something about their friendship just before his friend falls ill, what happens while his friend is unconscious, what happens when his friend wakes up briefly, and how Augustine responds to his friend’s death. 13. Why did the death of Augustine’s friend hit him so hard? (4.4.7–4.9.14) 14. What does it mean to love other human beings in God? (4.12.18) Books 5–6 15. In 5.3.4 and what follows, Augustine talks about ‘the philosophers’, but in this context he means the natural philosophers (natural scientists). What do the natural philosophers get right, and where do they go astray? (5.3.4– 5.4.7) Note that the natural philosophers are not the Manichees. 16. Why was it good that Mani talked so much about scientific subjects but got them very wrong? (5.5.8) 17. According to Augustine, how important is it for the spiritual life of a Christian to be right about scientific subjects? (5.5.9) 18. Describe Augustine’s experience with the Faustus. (5.6.10–5.7.13) 19. What is Augustine’s first impression of bishop Ambrose? (5.13.23) 20. How did Augustine come to think that the Catholic faith was intellectually respectable? (5.14.24 and 6.3.3–6.3.4) Book 7 21. In 7.9.13–7.9.14, Augustine says that when he read the books of the Platonists, he found that they contained a lot of the same things that were found in the Christian bible, but there was no mention of the Incarnation. For example, the Platonists seemed to recognize the existence of God and even the need for a ‘Word of God’ similar to the second person of the Trinity. But they did not say that the Word became flesh or that this incarnated Word (Jesus) was crucified and rose from the dead. Keep this in mind for the test. 22. In 7.10.16, Augustine tries to follow the path suggested by the Platonists, and he even manages to see “the incommutable light” that the Platonists had talked about, but he cannot sustain this vision. Why not? See also 7.17.23. 23. Read 7.12.18 carefully, and be prepared to answer specific questions about the argument Augustine is making there. Note that he is proposing a certain theory about what evil is. According to Augustine, evil is best understood as a kind of non-being. But everything that exist contains at least some degree of goodness. 24. Why does Augustine think it was providential that he came to read the books of the Platonists before he began to treat the bible seriously? (7.20.26) Explain what he is talking about when he mentions “the difference between presumption and confession” (ibid.). Book 9 25. Recount Monica’s story. (9.8.17–9.9.22) 26. What happened at Ostia? (9.10.23–9.11.27) 27. How was Augustine’s grief over the death of his mother different from his earlier grief over the death of his friend at Thagaste? (9.12.29–9.12.37) ...
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Test 2 Study Guide
Test 2 will be online. It will be OPEN BOOK, OPEN NOTES but it will be timed, and it must be completed by the deadline of Wednesday,
March 25, 2020. The exam covers the following sections from Confessions:
1.1.1–1.20.31;

4.1.1–4.12.19;

5.13.23–5.14.25;

7.9.13–7.21.27;

3.4.7–3.12.21;
5.3.4–5.7.13;
6.3.3–6.5.8;
9.8.17–9.12.37.
Format: The exam will consist of two parts. The first part will be a series of short questions. Many will be multiple choice or T/F
questions. In the second part, you will be presented with a passage from the text, and then you will be required to answer a few
specific questions about the passage. The questions in part two are likely to be a little bit harder than those in part 1.
Study questions: The following questions are designed to help you study. These are not exactly the same questions that will be on the
exam, but if you are able to answer these questions well, you should do well on the exam.
Book 1
1. In Augustine’s opening invocation, he says that human beings long to praise God and that “our heart is unquiet until it rests in
[God]” (Conf., 1.1.1). How does this idea reflect the experience Augustine recounts in Books 1–9?
Augustine begins with a prayer before he gets to discuss the time of his birth and infancy. This reveals that it is of importance to do
our investigation in a prayerful manner. In order to satisfy our own infinite desire, we have to make our hearts rest in God. In book 1,
Augustine compares his actions when he was an infant, like how he learned to smile and nursing. He elaborates that he learned those
facts from “weak women”-the nurses and the mother who gave birth to him. Augustine was an ignorant individual who was not able
to take control over his emotions or even his desires.
2.

In 1.6.7–1.7.12, Augustine describes his infancy. He does not remember his infancy but he makes inferences about what it must
have been like from the way he has seen other infants behave. What is the incident Augustine describes in 1.7.11 that is intended
to show us that babies are capable of sinning?

Augustine elaborates that he observed a small child getting angry and jealous of another small child. He states that “the small child
glared with livid fury at his fellow nursing even though he could speak”. This incidence reveals that even a small child can sin since the
child refused to allow another child to enjoy a rich abundant milk fountain even the other child needed the milk for survival.
3.

What is Augustine’s opinion of the practice of beating pupils who are lazy about learning? (1.9.14–1.10.16)

Augustine personally states that he was punished because of disobeying both his parents and teachers and he claims that he deserved
the punishment. Since disobedience is the original foundation of man’s sins, Augustine comments that laziness should not be tolerated
and lazy pupils should be punished.
4.

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