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The Nuptial Wounding of Marriage:
St. Augustine’s Thought
on the Effects of Original Sin on Marriage

Rev. J. Brian Bransfield

A paper submitted to Prof. William E. May in partial fulfillment for the requirements of JPI 713: Marriage in the Tradition of the Church

Spring, 2002

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of Original Sin on Marriage. While much has been written by and on St. Augustine (354-430) and his understanding of this topic I hope to center my work on how a relational anthropology is implicit in, but crucial to his understanding of Marriage and the wounds Original Sin inflicts upon Marriage. I believe highlighting a relational anthropology within Augustine will highlight Marriage in the Tradition of the Church. The first part of this paper examines Augustine’s thought on the second and third chapters of Genesis. The examination of Genesis will reveal the dynamic union of Man and Woman and the attack of Original Sin as wounding this union. The second part will consider concupiscence as a direct effect of severed union, with reference to De Civitate Dei, St. Thomas Aquinas, and St. John Chrysostom. Special reference will be made to pride and lust as operative in Original Sin and Concupiscence. Thirdly, we will look at the effects of pride and lust on the marital union.

I . Augustine’s thought on Genesis 2-3: Union of the duality

            Augustine takes up his account of Genesis in Against the Manichees, Book 2. Genesis 3 is the classical text on the occurrence of Original Sin. In order to glean an adequate interpretation from Chapter 3, one must look at Genesis 2 and Augustine’s account on ‘The Meaning of Adam’s Sleep and His Union with Eve.’ [1] When none of the created world proves a suitable partner for Adam, God then “…cast a deep sleep on the man. And while he was asleep, he took out one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. The Lord God then built up into a woman the rib he had taken from the man.” (Gen. 2: 21-22) The Saint is intrigued by the choice of God to make a sleep come upon the man. Augustine asks if there was a lack of mud from which Eve might be formed, or why the Lord could not have painlessly removed her from Adam when he was awake. Augustine sees the sleep of Genesis as visionary contemplation. The Saint lingers over this verse of Genesis and deepens the meaning of ‘sleep’. Adam’s contemplative sleep is a kind of withdrawal from visible things. Reality is seen more clearly from this sleep of contemplation. Real knowledge is more available to us as visible distractions are more distant. From contemplation we understand that what rules within us by reason is distinct from what obeys reason. [2] We see here a sense of Natural Law: an ordination within us.

Various interpretations on this text of the creation of woman are possible. One interpretation accents the duality of reason and flesh: man represents ‘reason’ while the woman represents the ‘flesh.’ Traditionally, reason rules the flesh as man is meant to rule woman. However, Augustine sees another understanding at work beneath this particular level of understanding. “…this knowledge is like the production of the woman from the man’s rib, because it is meant to signify their union.[3] For Augustine this union is a necessary addition to the ‘duality’ interpretation. In union the fleshly desire obeys reason, is properly integrated with reason and in a sense ceases to be ‘carnal.’ We can understand this union and its right ordering only when we enter the ‘sleep,’ the contemplation of what is more hidden and interior. A union between reason and will is akin to what one might call a communio personarum. Reason and will have a nuptial relation in that they interpenetrate with the reason recognizing the good and the will desiring it and consenting to it. When one acts according to reason, willing the good that reason directs, one is in true freedom. Their union is thus enclosed by a third, freedom. The dynamic of woman being taken from the side of man is meant to signify their union. Augustine echoes this in De Civitate Dei: “…God, desiring not only that the human race might be able by their similarity of nature to associate with one another, but also that they might be bound together in harmony and peace by the ties of relationship, was pleased to derive all men from one individual…” [4]

This is to be the primary content of man’s knowledge when he looks at himself. The first chapter of Augustine’s De Bono Coniugali will accent this theme as well. “Even these God did not create separately and join them as if strangers, but He made the one from the other, indicating also the power of union in the side from where she was drawn and formed.” [5] Man is first and foremost meant to be a union. He is not solely a dualism of body and spirit, of reason and flesh. This union is not an arbitrary synthesis deemed appropriate by God, but is part of man’s very relational posture. Man’s union with woman is placed within a deeper union: that of the man under Christ. [6] Union presupposes duality, but duality does not always explicitly presuppose union as we see in the interpretation of androgynous creation myths. For things to be united they must be at some level distinct. The concept of union itself is not static. Fundamental to union is a relationship of receptivity. Two ‘entities’ are united because they are different yet receptive toward one another.

The fracturing of Union: Consent upon desire and the pattern of sin

            Augustine explains that the devil had already fallen from angelic union with God and so was not present in paradise. There is a subtle theme emerging here: The devil had fallen from union. It will then be union that he attacks. The attack of the devil is upon the union of God and man. His method to undermine this union is to attack the union of male and female by attacking the union of reason and will, thus crippling freedom. Receiving the freedom of the other a high point of meaning in marriage, as it is in our union with God. When we give God our freedom we have truly then turned over our reason and will to Him. Once man begins to use his will and reason in a distorted way, he will quickly use the Other in a distorted way. Wounding union must go to the core, where the union is most basic and fundamental

While Augustine questions whether the devil is spatially in paradise at the moment of temptation he asserts that the serpent is able to speak to the woman. He suggests that perhaps Eve was not in paradise in a physical sense, but as in a disposition of happiness. Or, perhaps if she was in a spatial paradise the devil’s approach was non-corporeal in which case he suggested the temptation by means of thought. In any case Augustine says that man has been instructed to guard paradise and not to allow the devil entry as Judas did, into his heart. (Luke 22.3) Paradise is the place of union: union with the divine, union with the Other, union of reason and will. He continues that the devil deceives by means of the woman in that our reason cannot “be brought to the consent that is sin, except when delight is aroused in that part of the soul which ought to obey reason as its ruling husband.” [7] Augustine uses this image to arrange an archetype of sin, a pattern used in every temptation: “first the suggestion is made, whether by thought or by the senses of the body, by seeing or touching or hearing…”; [8] second our desire is aroused. Augustine sees this arousal as though being ‘already persuaded’ to sin. His heightened sense that arousal in itself is already persuasion to sin foreshadows his emphasis on carnal concupiscence and will need to be distinguished from the good with which pleasure can be associated. Reason needs to step in and check and suppress in ‘a virile way’ the desire that has been aroused. If reason consents we fall into sin. [9]  The union between reason and will is inverted and this diversion leads to a disorder. Augustine follows upon the words of Jesus, that sin is possible in the heart. For even if the deed is not carried out the sin is already imputed to man because of his consent. [10]

The attack of the devil upon Union

            Augustine next goes into the sin-oriented consent to see how sin has recked such havoc on man. He says that seeing how the serpent persuaded them to sin is “especially pertinent to our salvation.” [11] This may be taken in at least two senses. First, if we see the pathology of the first sin we can strengthen our own vigilance to avoid sin. Secondly, if we examine where the devil struck we may find there the code of our salvation. The devil attacks at the profound level of union. Sin occurs when reason, by way of its union with the flesh, turns away from the intrinsic goodness of that union itself. Union will be an operative dynamic in our salvation: the hypostatic union at the Incarnation, Christ then bearing or uniting the sins of the world to Himself culminating in the Paschal Mystery, and in that union destroying them. Our Lord then extends the effect of redemption by uniting Himself to His Mystical Body the Church to which we must unite. The mystery of salvation is alive with the reality of union. Integral to our abiding in the union of God’s grace in His Church is vigilance in avoiding the fragmentation wrought by sin. What, then, are the tools the serpent uses to pry away at the union of man and woman, the union of flesh and spirit?

The Saint parses the serpent’s words: “You will not die the death. For God knows that on the day that you eat from it your eyes will be opened and you will be like gods, knowing good and evil.” (Gen. 3:4-5) These words reveal pride in the form of a refusal to be under God and the will rather to be in their own power. God is made out as begrudging them autonomy. [12] They loved to excess their own power and wanted to be equal to God. All of this is summed up thus:

...they used wrongly…that middle rank by which they were subject to
 God and held their bodies in subjection. This middle rank was like the
 fruit of the tree placed in the middle of paradise.
Thus they lost what they
 had received in wanting to seize what they had not received. For the nature
 of man did not receive the capability of being happy by its own power
 without God ruling it. Only God can be happy by his own power with
 no one ruling.

While Original Sin is a transgression of the law of God we must remember Augustine’s salvific dictum: to examine these words for they are pertinent to our salvation. What do we find in these words? Adam and Eve used the ‘middle rank of their subjection to God’ wrongly. That is to say their relationship to God. The ‘middle’ is a ‘relationship’ which is the avenue for union. If distinct parts are in union they can only be in union by having a relationship between, ‘in the middle of,’ them. They used, made an object of, and instrumentalized, their relationship to God and to one another. To do this they engaged in consent with an act of the will: to receive by seizing. The union that ought to exist between their reason and will has also been wounded. Once they try to receive by seizing they have already left the category of reception, they have fallen. One could say such an act damages the very ontology of reception and therefore the nuptial structure. Reception’s proper mode is not seizing, but patient acceptance of reason. Far less is God ever to be an object, let alone an object to be seized. One can only approach God with reception. This touches upon a profound disorder: the attempt to ‘fill’ reception by violent seizing of that which can only be received. By consenting to such an act as this, Original Sin is committed, wounding the relational anthropology of the person.

Original Sin: disobedience and the wounded receptivity for union with God and one-another

“Thus they lost what they had received in wanting to seize what they had not received. For the nature of man did not receive the capability of being happy by its own power without God ruling it.” [14] Augustine refers to Original Sin as a loss. What they had received they lost by trying to fill their receptivity with themselves, their own power. In this they fractured the union which their receptivity served. This fracture or tearing constitutes a wound whose ultimate effect is death. One conception of disobedience is the disobedience of crossing a line, the transgression of a law or norm. Yet there is a reason why crossing the line is evil, especially in this case of our First Parents. Our First parents disobeyed by betraying their very being, their receptive relationship toward God and one another. Augustine calls this “so great a sin [by which] … human nature was altered for the worse, and was transmitted also to their posterity, liable to sin and subject to death…” [15] This effect did not emerge simply from transgressing a positivistic arbitrary norm. They transgressed the will of God, a will at one with and united to His Wisdom, the Wisdom that created man to live in a receptivity and relationality toward his Creator. When man turned this receptive relationality toward himself the very structure of his being was wounded. There could be no other result. And therefore if to be receptive in relationship to God is to have life, to turn away is to merit death.

This wound is deep. St. Thomas Aquinas says it pertains to the essence of the soul. (STh. IaIIae 83, 2, r2) The ‘essence of the soul’ is accessed by a power of reason and will: the ‘consent’ to the fateful choice. A fundamental part of ‘consent’ is the receiving. Adam consented to something which he determined (that is ‘received’ in his intellect as a good) and which by his act of will he then opened himself to receive into his being. But what he chose to receive was a lie. Therefore, the faculties of the intellect and the will from which consent flows are wounded. Thus St. Thomas notes two things considered in the infection of Original Sin, first its inherence in its subject, and second its inclination to act in regard to the powers of the soul. (STh. IaIIae 83, 3) For Augustine the weakness of the inclination will carry the same character as the original invasion of the powers: pride and desire.

II. Concupiscence: pride and carnal desire

            The Council of Trent describes concupiscence as coming from sin and inclining to sin. [16] There are effects which take place once the union of reason and will has been attacked and wounded in sin. These effects are understood as concupiscence and in the thought of Augustine we see the particular role played by pride and lust in concupiscence. This is the second section of the paper.


            Returning to Augustine’s commentary one finds God walking in the garden in the cool of the day. The Lord still moves among them. This is a foundational response to a Calvinist Tradition that sees human nature as totally depraved after the Fall. God still moves among them, they, while wounded, are not completely depraved. They, however, hide amidst the trees, and in particular our Saint notes that they hide near the tree in the middle of paradise. In this Augustine says they hide near their ‘middle rank’ the rank of their creaturely reception and relationship to God, where they stand beneath God but above the material world. But this rank is now hidden from them. They cannot find their place in relationship to God; they cannot receive Him rightly. “Hence, they became hidden to themselves…after they had left the light of truth.” [17] Even in their hiding they can still hear the Lord. Conscience, the tireless accuser, recognizes its Lord. St. John Chrysostom notes the obvious absurdity of trying to hide from the Lord and from one’s own conscience: man hides from the ever-present God and does so in God’s own paradise. [18] True folly: who would ever try to escape paradise? This absurd hiding is a kind of confusion and ignorance of who they are, where they are, and Who God is. St. Thomas highlights this ignorance. The Angelic Doctor notes the powers of the soul as left destitute of their proper order resulting. He cites weakness, ignorance, malice, and concupiscence as wounds of nature consequent upon sin. (STh. IaIIae 85, 3)

            Augustine sees man as created upright and with a good will. [19] There were no discomforts or evil in paradise that would lead man to sin. He faced no agitation that would make him roam about in his own will for comfort or escape. Evil even as a privation must be “introduced” into paradise. The first evil will was a falling away where man became his own end. His own will was his own end. The will itself is of nature and as such is good. When the will becomes both means and end the result is sin. The origin of our evil will is pride. [20] He goes on to explain pride as the craving for undue exaltation. It is in this mixture of craving and pride that man abandons God, his proper end.

            This pride becomes clear as God questions the man. Man tries to attribute his sin to God: “For he did not say, ‘The woman gave to me,’ but added on, ‘The woman you gave to me.’(Gen. 3:12)” [21] The man tries to relate to God as his equal. The wound in his receptivity cannot distinguish. Even with the precedence which Augustine seems to give to pride as the origin of the evil will which stands behind the first sin we see a glimpse of lust close at hand. Pride is the self-exaltation. But they desired and craved this exaltation. “By craving to be more, man became less.” [22] The sin was the consequence of the ‘wicked desire’ which existed in man. The effects of this follow a progression.

This pride is further accented as Augustine sees in the punishment of the serpent the invisible enemy man faces: “You will creep upon your chest and your belly.” (Gen. 3:14) The strength of the chest signifies pride while the belly is the soft representation of carnal desire. “Since by these means he creeps up on those whom he wants to deceive….” [23] This twofold regimen of pride and carnal desire is the attack that is concupiscence and leads Augustine to follow a hermeneutic of carnal desire for Gen. 3:15 as well. “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and hers; He will strike at your head, while you strike at his heel.” Augustine understands the ‘seed’ of the devil as perverse suggestion while the seed of the woman is the fruit of the good work by which one resists such suggestion. Enmity is placed between these two. So then the devil watches the foot if it should ever slip into forbidden pleasure and she watches his head that his temptation may be excluded. [24]

The Consequences of Original Sin: Death, Disobedience, Lust, and Shame

Augustine sees that God’s first response to the inversion of pride and desire is justice. Man sought to be his own satisfaction. God in His justice abandons man to himself. The effect of this will be death, for man cannot save himself. Next, disobedience itself is the effect of the sin. “…what but disobedience was the punishment of disobedience in that sin…” [25] Man is now disobedient to himself, “so that in consequence of his not being willing to do what he could do, he now wills to do what he cannot….” [26] Elsewhere he accounts that after this sin man’s bodily members returned to man his own disobedience. [27] The faculties in a sense return to man his own disobedience. However we must remember that faculties do not per se sin. It is the human person who sins through his faculties. The wound of disobedience is itself a punishment to man. His mind and body do not obey his will, just as he refused to obey God. His flesh now refuses to obey and be subject to him. This rebellion opens the door for much suffering.

            The manner of this disobedience has the character of lust. Augustine seems to distinguish between pleasure and lust. “But pleasure is preceded by a certain appetite which is felt in the flesh like a craving.” [28] Lust is a hunger that applies to all desires. Anger is the lust for revenge, greed a lust for money, vanity the lust for applause. Lust is especially applicable to the passion and urge of the genital organs. Lust in man’s fallen state is in great contrast to his prelapsarian state. De Civitate Dei lays great stress upon the Genesis 1:27-28: “For no sooner had Scripture said, ‘Male and female created He them,’ than it immediately continues, ‘And God blessed them, and God said unto them, increase, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it, etc.” [29] In paradise there was the blessing of marriage by which children were begotten. This dynamic was untouched by lust and was integrated within the movement of the will. “The man, then, would have sown the seed, and the woman received it, as need required, the generative organs being moved by the will, not excited by lust.” [30] And “…what is now moved in his body only by lust should have been moved only at will.” [31] Augustine accents this point through several paragraphs: he firmly attests that offspring would be begotten without the disease of lust, with the generative parts of the body set in motion at the command of the will. From this spontaneous power there would be a corresponding introduction of the male seed without loss of integrity of the female genital organ.

III. Marital Union

To sum up then, Augustine accented union in his commentary on Genesis, and in the opening of De Bono Coniugali. This union between man and woman has its roots in the woman’s creation from the side of Adam. Further, their union in intercourse is also seen by Augustine to be good. He comments, “For, what food is to the health of man, intercourse is to the health of the race, and both are not without carnal pleasure, which, however, when modified and put to its natural use with a controlling temperance, cannot be a passion.” [32] Augustine places emphasis on the three goods of marriage: proles, fides, and the sacramentum. [33] Fidelity to these ends, especially that of children, is a means to steer chastity so that one refrains from instrumentalizing the other for purposes of lust, and thus harming the union in sin. Marriage is not merely an instrumental good to have children, but rather the children protect and guard the union. He reiterates when speaking of this union, “This does not seem to me to be a good solely because of the procreation of children, but also because of the natural companionship between the two sexes.” [34] The union of the sexes existed before the Fall. This union of the two in fidelity is “a natural good in marriage, though a carnal one” in that “carnal concupiscence … must not be ascribed to marriage: it is only to be tolerated in marriage. It is not a good which comes out of the essence of marriage, but an evil which is the accident of original sin.” [35] In his prelapsarian state man was able to effect union of the sexes toward childbearing “without any lascivious heat,” [36] and was moved by the direction of the will, as we move our limbs regularly. Carnal concupiscence is the ‘disobedience of the flesh” from which the human will “has lost all proper command for itself over its own members.” [37]

He looks closely at these goods to see how it is that Original Sin is passed on. “If now we interrogate, so to speak, those goods of marriage to which we have often referred, and inquire how it is that sin could possibly have been propagated from them to infants, we shall get this answer from the first of them--the work of procreation of offspring.” [38] To accomplish procreation the diverse members were created for each sex, and were not objects of shame. This then leads to the second good. It was for the sake of procreation that fidelity has come to be. This is not merely instrumental, but as a dynamic union. The fidelity of love has come to be out of devotion to life. If sin had not been committed man would be secure without lust and directed to the sacramental bond. “What now is there in these three blessings of marriage out of which the bond of sin could pass over to posterity? Absolutely nothing. And in these blessings it is certain that the goodness of matrimony is entirely comprised; and even now good wedlock consists of these same blessings.” [39]

 In a sense then one can surmise that the pleasure associated with fidelity and the sacrament at the service of union would have been much greater because it would not have been self-directed.  We would receive freely the freedom of the other. But now our freedom is heavily influenced as husband and wife are spurned on by lust. The bodily sense fights to be the focus and draw all our attention, always seeking more. Man’s attention is drawn away from the great goods toward himself. Seeking the freedom of the other has been joined to this tendency to lust toward the other as a possession for the self in order to attend to escape the evil of lust. “…even such embraces of husband and wife as have not procreation for their object, but serve an overbearing concupiscence, are permitted, so far as to be within range of forgiveness, though not prescribed by way of commandment….” [40] He goes on to say when married persons do not have the “gift of continence and participate in the marital act not for procreation, but for the pleasure of concupiscence this act incurs guilt not on account of marriage, but receives permission on account of marriage. On its own account, marriage makes this pardonable.” [41] This is true so long as child bearing is not deliberately impeded. In this instance where a couple engage in relations not for children, but for the easing of concupiscence, it is not marriage that has occasioned guilt. He goes on to say, “It is, however, one thing for married persons to have intercourse only for the wish to beget children, which is not sinful: it is another thing for them to desire carnal pleasure in cohabitation, but with the spouse only, which involves venial sin.” [42] Further he specifies in De Bono Coniugali, “ In marriage, intercourse for the purpose of generation has no fault attached to it, but for the purpose of satisfying concupiscence, provided with a spouse, because of the marriage fidelity, it is a venial sin; adultery or fornication, however, is a mortal sin.” [43] Marriage makes what would have been mortal, venial. A summary of his thought is expressed this way: “So … we ought not to condemn marriage because of the evil of lust; nor must we praise lust because of the good of marriage.” [44]

 Augustine cannot be relegated to an anti-body position. He does not identify carnal desire strictly with the body when he agrees that  “If, then, offspring comes only through sex, and sex only through the body, and the body through God, who can hesitate to allow that fecundity is rightly attributed to God?" [45] It is rather that to which the body is subjected which is evil.

For Augustine, Marriage is a good that is accompanied by a disorder of concupiscence. This disorder is redeemed by the virtue of chastity. [46] In Original Justice our First Parents felt no shame in that the heat of lust did not flow through their members. There was no selfishness driving their action. The mind and the will decided when to have marital relations based in self-giving love. After the Fall, sexual desire breaks away from this order and shame enters. They remain husband and wife, yet even within marriage this disobedience of the flesh, carnal concupiscence has sway and is the reason for some level of shame even in the marital act ordered properly toward the goods of marriage. Cormac Burke comments on Augustine and speaks of “the imperious nature of the sexual urge as a result of which an ambivalent element easily enters even into marital sexuality.” [47] In the same passage, Burke adds, “What should be wholly an act of love may be merely an act of selfishness.” This new element threatens their purity in that they can be absorbed with the exterior physical aspect of sex rather than the inner substance of the goods in undisturbed joy. This element requires healing and the ‘force’ drawing them together needs to be tempered in order to lead to a real unity in ‘an act of mutual giving.’ The sexual urge “easily disconnects itself from love.” [48]

To sum up then, for Augustine neither sexuality nor marriage is intrinsically evil. In fact they are good. It is the loss of integrity even in the restored state that disturbs the appetites and tends away from the good. Sexual union is present in creation as a nuptial union animated by giving and receptivity. As such it is a good. It is the inordinate turning toward these goods to use them in a mere instrumental way; a tending felt in the body, which is so central in our experience. This turning however is done in a kind of pride. In this there is a primary emphasis upon the will. When one wills to turn to the bodily goods in a disproportionate way, so that one sets them against the true good of the human person, one sins. Bodily concupiscence, while coming from sin and inclining to sin, is not sin in itself. Sexual concupiscence is a graphic manifestation of the tendency toward disorder. The diversion of the will is evil, not the nature of the human person. Chastity reorders the desire with integrity. [49] Chastity is introduced when one tries to limit concupiscence by abiding and holding to the purposes of marriage.


Augustine closes his De Incompetentibus Nuptiis by saying that, “After this rather paltry treatment and discussion of mine, I am not ignorant of the fact that the question of marriage still remains very obscure and involved. Nor dare I say that either in this work or in any other up to the present [The Good of Marriage] have I explained all its intricacies, or that I can explain them now, eve if urged to do so.” [50] What Augustine has done is to lay a groundwork that will be built upon. The union between reason and will, between man and woman, and between God and man has been wounded by sin. The result of this disobedience is a hiding in ignorance where we are so easily led astray by pride and desire. God has placed the three great blessings in Marriage that we might be guided in chastity back to His embrace. It is Christ Himself who is the great blessing of the Marriage that God makes with mankind. He frees us from our hiding, for he “fully reveals man to himself.”(GS 22) He proclaims the truth to our ignorance. His obedience heals our disobedience and His death brings us the life of the marriage feast of the lamb.


[1] St. Augustine. Two Books on Genesis Against the Manichees, Book 2. Trans. Roland J. Teske, S.J. The Fathers of the Church. Washington, D. C., 1991. Ch. 12, p. 113. Here after referred to as Against the Manichees.


[2] Against the Manichees, Bk. 2, Ch. 12, p. 113.

[3] Against the Manichees, Bk. 2, Ch. 12, p. 113. (emphasis added)

[4] St. Augustine, De Civitate Dei. New York: The Modern Library, 1993. Ch. 14, p. 441. (emphasis added)

[5] St. Augustine. De Bono Coniugali. Trans. Charles T. Wilcox, The Fathers of the Church. Washington, D.C. The Catholic University of America Press, 1999.


[6] Within these commentaries there arises the question of the understanding of inferiority of the woman in relation to the man. While this inferiority seems present here (p. 113, Ch 13) he also acknowledges these realities as mysteries in which he tries to find the purpose. He acknowledges a range of interpretation. (p. 114, Ch 12)

[7] Against the Manichees, Bk. 2, Ch. 14, p. 117.

[8] Against the Manichees, Bk. 2, Ch. 14, p. 117.

[9] Against he Manichees. Bk. 2, Ch.14, p. 117.

[10] Against the Manichees, Bk. 2, Ch. 15, p. 117.

[11]  Against the Manichees, Bk 2, Ch. 14, p. 117.

[12] Such autonomy is commented on numerous times in the Magisterium of the Twentieth Century. See Evangelium vitae, Pope John Paul II’s encyclical on the value and inviolability of human life, #20.

[13] Against the Manichees, Bk. 2, Ch. 15, p. 118.

[14] Against the Manichees, Bk. 2, Ch. 15, p. 118.

[15] De Civitate Dei, Bk. 2, Ch. 14, p. 441.

[16] H. J. Denzinger, Echiridion Symbolorum, ed. A. Schonmetzer, 32d ed. (1953), 1515.

[17] Against the Manichees, Bk. 2, Ch. 16, p. 120.

[18] St. John Chrysostom. Homilies on Genesis 1-17. Trans. Robert C. Hill. The Fathers of the Church. Washington, D.C. The Catholic University of America Press, 1986, Homily 17, p. 224.

[19] De Civitate Dei, Bk. 14, Ch. 11, p. 457.

[20] De Civitate Dei. Bk. 14, Ch 13, p. 460.

[21] Against the Manichees, Bk. 2, Ch. 17, p. 121.

[22] De Civitate Dei, Bk. 14, Ch. 13, p. 461.

[23] Against the Manichees, Bk. 2, Ch. 17, p. 122.

[24] Against the Manichees, Bk. 2, Ch 18, p. 123.

[25] De Civitate Dei, Bk 2, Ch 15, p. 463.

[26] De Civitate Dei, Bk. 2, Ch. 15, p. 463.

[27] St. Augustine. On Marriage and Concupiscence. As in The Early Christian Fathers, Harmony Media, Inc., 2000. Bk. II-Ch. 26.

[28] De Civitate Dei. Ch. 15, p. 464.

[29] De Civitate Dei. Bk. 14, Ch. 22, p. 469.

[30] De Civitate Dei, Bk. 14, Ch. 24, p. 472.

[31] De Civitate Dei, Bk. 14, Ch. 24, p. 472.

[32] De Bono Coniugali, Ch 16, p. 32. 

[33] De Bono Coniugali, Ch. 24, p. 32; On Marriage and Concupiscence, Ch 17, 19.

[34] De Bono Coniugali, Ch. 3, p.12.

[35] On Marriage and Concupiscence, Bk. II, Ch. 19.

[36]   On Marriage and Concupiscence, Bk. II, Ch. 26.

[37]  On Marriage and Concupiscence, Bk. I, Ch. 6.

[38] On Marriage and Concupiscence,  Bk. I, Ch 23.

[39] On Marriage and Concupiscence, Bk. I, Ch 23.

[40] On Marriage and Concupiscence, Bk II, Ch 16.

[41] On Marriage and Concupiscence, Bk. II, Ch. 16.

[42] On Marriage and Concupiscence,  Bk. II, Ch. 17.

[43] De Bono Coniugali, Ch. 6,  p. 17.

[44] On Marriage and Concupiscence, Bk. I, Ch. 8.

[45] On Marriage and Concupiscence, Bk. II, Ch 12.

[46] On Marriage and Concupiscence, Bk. II, Preface.

[47] Cormac Burke, “St. Augustine and Conjugal Sexuality.” Communio 17. (Winter, 1990) Communio: International Catholic Review.  P. 555.

[48] Burke, p. 555.

[49] St. Augustine. On the Psalms, L, 10, 7, The Fathers of the Early Church. Harmony Media, 2000.

[50] St. Augustine. On Adulterous Marriages. The Fathers of The Church. Vol. 27, Trans. Charles T. Wilcox, Washington, D.C. the catholic University of America Press, 1955, p. 98.


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Rev. J. Brian Bransfield 2002

Version: 10th May 2002

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