Slavery at the begining of christianity augustine

Exegesis, Christianity, Roman Empire, Aristotle

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It is better to be dominated by unknown although useful indicators than to interpret these questions useless way and so pushed one’s throat, rescued in the yoke captivity, into the toils of error” (St. Augustine, 32). Therefore , the issue of slavery in Augustine’s interpretation is usually overall related to the idea of meaning and to religious oppression from the soul if perhaps subject to something of values he interprets of switches into in a wrongful manner.

By comparison to Augustine’s point-of-view and approach, you will find the traditional perception of the term slavery, as being a degrading establishment for the Roman Empire at the time of it is greatest enlargement. Especially throughout the Roman domination of Middle east, the Israelites were regarded as being an captive people; yet , the perspective was more physical related, rather than spiritual. Through this sense, Gregory of Nyssa draws the interest on the individual inequality produced by captivity, when human beings buy the flexibility of additional human beings (Garnsey, 1996, 82-3). His primary argument summarized indicates that “made was performed in the picture and likeness of The almighty, and therefore, simply by his nature is the two free and sovereign inside the earthly ball (… ) slave-owning should be to oppose Our god, challenge his natural regulation, and scupper his plans for human beings to rule with pride and reverance on earth” (Garnsey, mil novecentos e noventa e seis, 83).

In relation to the actual physical issue of slavery, Augustine indeed looks at that the world is inevitably meant to combine masters and slaves alike, since, to a certain degree, there is a normal selection and a human right (Garnsey, 1996). However , this individual views slavery as being the consequence of a bad thing, the original desprovisto. Therefore , an association can be built between the two types of enslavement, physical and spiritual. The shortcoming to see past the worldly signs of opinion and interpret them shoves people into a state of fornication, therefore a guilty affair. Therefore, the physical enslavement can be seen as a means of punishment pertaining to the unworthy.

Overall, it can be concluded that Augustine’s view on a defieicency of slavery is complex and sheds lumination on the particular aspects related both to spiritual belief and physical suffering, allowing a complex model of the two notions.


Garnsey, Peter. Ideas in slavery from Aristotle to Augustine. Greater london: Cambridge University or college Press, mil novecentos e noventa e seis.

Saint Augustine.

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