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Christian Theologies of the SacramentsA Comparative Introduction$
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Justin S. Holcomb and David A. Johnson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780814724323

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9780814724323.001.0001

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St. Augustine of Hippo

St. Augustine of Hippo

(p.41) 3 St. Augustine of Hippo
Christian Theologies of the Sacraments

Thomas L. Humphries Jr.

NYU Press

This chapter examines the sacramental theology of Augustine of Hippo, the great Western Church Father who emphasized the mystery of God and the fruit of love, and identified sacraments as “visible sign that connect us to the mystery of our saving God.” Baptism was to occur only once in a believer’s life and marked not only the entrance of the believer into the Church but also the believer’s identity with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Augustine encouraged infant baptism and considered marriage and ordination to be sacraments as well. In addition, for Augustine, “the Eucharist is the summit of sacramental theology because it is so obviously and closely connected to the Incarnate Christ himself and because it is a visible sign that connects us to the mystery of salvation in Christ which is fulfilled in love.” Augustine’s work on the sacraments was in many ways seminal and has continued to influence Christian sacramental theology ever since.

Keywords:   sacrament, Eucharist, baptism, Augustine, incarnation

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