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Augustin et le manichéisme

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Chapter Summary

This chapter examines Augustine of Hippo response to contraception, insofar as it seems to have been dictated by his anti-Manichaean polemic. It suggests that the polemical agenda imposed a narrow band of arguments that neither originated from nor underwent significant change by him, so long as Manichaean teaching was the issue. Sex is deliberately detached from procreation. As Augustine reports it, the Manichaeans' attitude toward contraception was the child of their cosmogonical myth, according to which the conception of offspring promoted the entrapment of divine light in matter that had commenced in the great primeval battle between good and evil. This, then, was the mindset Augustine both perceived and felt compelled to oppose, which he did on several occasions over a period of forty years. Of those occasions, the chapter notes four in particular: De moribus Manichaeorum, Contra Faustum, Contra Secundinum, and De haeresibus.

Keywords: Augustine of Hippo; Contra Faustum; Contra Secundinum; contraception; De haeresibus; De moribus Manichaeorum



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