“Augustine: From Friendship to a New Republic”

Friday, September 29th, 2017.

Presented by Prof. Peter Brown, Philip and Beulah Rollins Professor of History, Emeritus

Although he is most known for his spiritual conversation narrative and his views on the city of God and the city of man, Augustine was deeply committed to spiritual friendships and community life in a monastery. In this seminar, renowned biographer of Augustine and historian of late antiquity, Professor Peter Brown, will discuss lesser-known aspects of Augustine’s life in a monastic community and how that shaped his views of friendship, politics, and eternal life.

Peter Brown, the Philip and Beulah Rollins Professor of History, is credited with having created the field of study referred to as late antiquity (250-800 A.D.), the period during which Rome fell, the three major monotheistic religions took shape, and Christianity spread across Europe. A native of Ireland, Professor Brown earned his B.A. in history from Oxford University (1956), where he taught until 1975 as a Fellow of All Souls College. He joined the Princeton faculty in 1986 after teaching at the University of London and the University of California, Berkeley. Professor Brown’s primary interests are the transition from antiquity to the Middle Ages and the rise of Christianity, and he has pursued them through investigations into such diverse topics as Roman rhetoric, the cult of the saints, the body and sexuality, and wealth and poverty. He is the author of a dozen books, including Augustine of Hippo (1967, 2000), The World of Late Antiquity (1971), The Cult of the Saints (1982), The Body and Society (1988), Power and Persuasion in Late Antiquity: Towards a Christian Empire (1992), Authority and the Sacred: Aspects of the Christianization of the Roman World (1995), The Rise of Western Christendom (1996, 2003), and Poverty and Leadership in the Later Roman Empire (2002). Professor Brown has received honorary degrees from numerous universities, including the University of Chicago (1978), Trinity College, Dublin (1990), Wesleyan University (1993), Columbia University (2001), Harvard University (2002), and Kings College London (2008) . He has been the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship (1982), a Guggenheim Fellowship (1989), and the Mellon Foundation’s Distinguished Achievement Award (2001). In 2008, he won the Kluge Prize of the Library of Congress.

Seminars take place at Professor Mooney’s home near Princeton’s campus. Dinner is included. To find out more about these events, please email us at info@scalafoundation.org.