n HTS : Theological Studies - Augustinus: ’n Studie oor die etiek van die kerkvader uit Afrika deur J.H. van Wyk - research

Volume 75 Number 4
  • ISSN : 0259-9422
  • E-ISSN: 2072-8050



In this review article, the book by J.H. (Amie) van Wyk, Augustine: A study on the ethics of the church father from Africa is presented and discussed. Short overviews of the content of the six chapters are given. They are: (1) Introduction – the necessity for a book on Augustine’s ethics in Afrikaans, (2) Orientation – an overview of his life and works, (3) Grounding – the relationship between dogmatics and ethics, (4) Typology – the character of his ethics, (5) Themes – marriage and sexual ethics, political ethics and animal ethics, (6) Findings – evaluation of Augustine’s ethics. Support is given to the argument that Augustine is an important forerunner to the Reformation. Information is provided on Augustine and the early years of the Reformation in Wittenberg. Critical remarks are made about the author’s understanding of the relationship between faith and works, dogmatics and ethics. The Lutheran understanding of this topic is presented as an important alternative to the Reformed version that is defended in this book. Finally, attention is given to Augustine’s ‘theory of the two cities’. Also in this regard advice is given from one of Luther’s publication. His exposition of Mary’s Song (‘Magnificat’) in Luke 1:46–55 is used as an example of how a witness to the government could look like.

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