After reading Book VI of his Confessions how do you know that St. Augustine once held different views on love and women?



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It is clear that St. Augustine is gradually changing his views about everything in life through the course of his life story. Book VI in particular takes as its theme the subject of love and women, which is an important issue for St. Augustine to turn his attention to in his walk towards embracing Christianity. It is important to remember that the church at the time preached abstinence and only recommended having sexual relations within a marriage context. For Augustine, who was a self-confessed lover of women and sex, this was a great challenge. However, by the end of this section, note what practical steps he has taken in response to the church's teachings:

My mistress was torn from my side as an impediment to my marriage, and my heart which clung to her was torn and wounded till it bled. And she went back to Africa, vowing to thee never to know any other man and leaving with me my natural son by her.

At great personal cost, Augustine dismisses his mistress who was very dear to him and pledges himself to be married, even though he has to wait at least another two years before he can marry. This is obvious proof of the change in heart he has experienced through the course of this section.


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