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Augustine and Conversion Conversion can best be defined as surrendering a particular way of life in order to accept another The very nature of this process indicates the presence of sacrifice The convert acts almost entirely on faith giving up the life that seemed right a life in which they were comfortable relying only on the assumption that letting Jesus into their hearts will give their life more meaning and direction then what they had known before Augustine says that conversion requires cooperation of intellect and emotion which may have a crippling effect of habit on will and a need for Gods grace to have an unhampered will He also says that conversion requires a public confession Augustine himself struggled with conversion due in large part to his fascination with women that led to his addiction to sex Augustines struggles in converting make his psychology on conversion a plausible one Augustines long road to becoming a Christian started when he first became interested in philosophy This happened in Carthage in the year 372 AD It was at this time that he read Ciceros HortensiusThis writing which explained the search for true wisdom the pursuit of truth for life and how people should live that led Augustine to search for a religion or way of life that he could be at comfort with For nine years from 373 until 382 Augustine followed the ways of Manichaeism a Persian dualistic philosophy which at the time was widespread throughout the Western Roman Empire With its fundamental principle of conflict between good and evil and its claim of a rational interpretation of Scripture Manichaeism at first seemed to Augustine to correspond to experience and set up the best platform on which to build a philosophical and ethical system Another thing that interested Augustine was that its moral code was not too strict Manichaeism at the time seemed like the best way to live out his wish of Give
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