On Genesis: Two Books on Genesis against the Manichees; And, on the Literal Interpretation of Genesis, An Unfinished Book

By Saint Augustine; Roland J. S. J. Teske | Go to book overview

not to allow her to rule him. When this happens, the home is perverted and unhappy. 75.

16. Hence, God first showed man how much better he was than the cattle and all irrational animals, and this is signified by the statement that all the animals were brought to him that he might see what he would call them and give them names. 76. This shows that man is better than the animals in virtue of reason, since only reason which judges concerning them is able to distinguish and know them by name. This latter idea is an easy one to grasp, for man quickly understands that he is better than the cattle. The former idea is a difficult one to grasp, namely, that by which he understands that the rational part in him that rules is distinct from the animal part which is ruled.


CHAPTER 12

The Meaning of Adam's Sleep
and His Union with Eve

Because he sees these things with a more hidden wisdom, I think this hidden wisdom is signified by the sleep that God sent upon Adam when he made the woman for him. 77. To see this there is no need of these bodily eyes; rather to the extent that anyone withdraws from these visible things into the interior realm of the intelligence (for this is in a sense to fall

____________________
75.
Augustine's view of the role of women is far from what would satisfy most contemporaries—not to mention contemporary feminists. On this point, as on others, one should realize that his ideas were molded by his society and culture as well as by passages in the Scriptures which seem to subordinate women to men. On the other hand, the life of Monica sketched in C 9.8.17‐ 9.11.28 presents a portrait of a wife and a mother that is unparalleled in antiquity and should surely be weighed in the balance with some of Augustine's clearly objectionable statements. Moreover, his Platonic view of human beings led him to identify the real person with the soul or mind. Hence, differences of bodily sex are theoretically extrinsic to the real person and men and women are equal as souls. Cf. Richard McGowan, "Augustine's Spiritual Equality: The Allegory of Man and Woman with regard to Imago Dei," REAug 33 (1987) 255-264, for current bibliography on this topic.
76.
Cf. Gen 2.19-20.
77.
Cf. Gen 2.21-22.

-112-

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On Genesis: Two Books on Genesis against the Manichees; And, on the Literal Interpretation of Genesis, An Unfinished Book
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Fathers of the Church - A New Translation *
  • The Fathers of the Church - A New Translation *
  • On Genesis - Two Books on Genesis against the Manichees and on the Literal Interpretation of Genesis: an Unfinished Book *
  • Contents *
  • Abbreviations ix
  • Select Bibliography xi
  • Introduction *
  • Introduction 3
  • Two Books on Genesis against the Manichees *
  • Book One 47
  • Chapter 1 47
  • Chapter 2 49
  • Chapter 3 52
  • Chapter 4 54
  • Chapter 5 56
  • Chapter 6 57
  • Chapter 7 58
  • Chapter 8 60
  • Chapter 9 62
  • Chapter 10 63
  • Chapter 11 64
  • Chapter 12 65
  • Chapter 13 66
  • Chapter 14 68
  • Chapter 15 71
  • Chapter 16 72
  • Chapter 17 74
  • Chapter 18 76
  • Chapter 19 77
  • Chapter 20 78
  • Chapter 21 80
  • Chapter 22 81
  • Chapter 23 83
  • Chapter 24 88
  • Chapter 25 89
  • Book Two 91
  • Chapter 1 91
  • Chapter 2 95
  • Chapter 3 96
  • Chapter 4 98
  • Chapter 5 99
  • Chapter 6 101
  • Chapter 7 102
  • Chapter 8 104
  • Chapter 9 107
  • Chapter 10 109
  • Chapter 11 111
  • Chapter 12 112
  • Chapter 13 114
  • Chapter 14 115
  • Chapter 15 117
  • Chapter 16 119
  • Chapter 17 121
  • Chapter 18 122
  • Chapter 19 123
  • Chapter 20 125
  • Chapter 21 126
  • Chapter 22 129
  • Chapter 23 131
  • Chapter 24 132
  • Chapter 25 134
  • Chapter 26 135
  • Chapter 27 137
  • Chapter 28 139
  • Chapter 29 140
  • On the Literal Interpretation of Genesis: An Unfinished Book *
  • Chapter 1 145
  • Chapter 2 147
  • Chapter 3 148
  • Chapter 4 151
  • Chapter 5 156
  • Chapter 6 161
  • Chapter 7 163
  • Chapter 8 165
  • Chapter 9 167
  • Chapter 10 168
  • Chapter 11 169
  • Chapter 12 171
  • Chapter 13 173
  • Chapter 14 176
  • Chapter 15 179
  • Chapter 16 182
  • Indices *
  • General Index 191
  • Index of Holy Scripture 196
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