Epistemology Of Platonism To Christianity

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Platonism played an influential role in the Saint Augustine’s understanding of and conversion to Christianity. By bringing concepts from Platonism into Christianity, Augustine not only helped shape his conception of Christianity, but through doing so he also contributed important ideas to theology and philosophy—more specifically, epistemology and metaphysics. In this essay, I will demonstrate how Augustine brought Platonism into Christianity and argue he was mostly successful in combining the two. Before displaying how Augustine applied Platonism to Christianity, I will briefly explain Platonism and some of its main claims. Next, I will focus on the three main ways Augustine applies the metaphysics and epistemology of Platonism to Christianity,…show more content…
For instance, Augustine deviates from Platonism’s claim that one can acquire knowledge of the intelligible word and concepts like Goodness, Truth, and Happiness through human reason alone( Rist 26). He rejects this assertion because he believes it does not acknowledge the authority of God and the importance of faith, and it fails to recognize the limits of human reason. Thus, Augustine argues having faith is a necessary perquisite to achieving real knowledge. (Rist 26). God play a central role in our search for knowledge because He gives us grace, which wills us to have religious faith. Furthermore, with religious faith one can truly understand and know God and the intelligible world. While Augustine still allows faith and reason to be compatible, he deviates from Platonism’s assertion of the importance of…show more content…
In the later, he weakens the importance of reason in Platonism, however, he is able to rectify a seemingly antagonistic relationship between faith and reason. Augustine successfully brought Platonism into Christianity; he reconciled issues such as the existence of a spiritual world and the problem of accounting for evil. Platonism’s ontology allowed Augustine to conceptualize the existence of a spiritual world and claim God, like the forms, is the ultimate source for the existence of all things and ideas within the physical world. Augustine’s application of Platonist doctrines not only helps explain and rationalize Christian faith, it also resolves issues within Christianity, such as, God’s omnipotence and omni-benevolence, and the problem of
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