Original Research - Special Collection: HTS 75th Anniversary Maake Masango Dedication

Augustinus: ’n Studie oor die etiek van die kerkvader uit Afrika deur J.H. van Wyk

Ignatius W.C. van Wyk
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 75, No 4 | a5560 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v75i4.5560 | © 2019 Ignatius (Natie) W.C. van Wyk | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 17 May 2019 | Published: 29 November 2019

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Ignatius W.C. van Wyk, Department of Systematic and Historical Theology, Faculty of Theology and Religion, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa


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Abstract

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.

Keywords

Augustine; Luther; ethics; social ethics; political ethics; two-cities theory

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