Risen to Judgment: What Augustine Saw

  • Francine Cardman
Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)


In his sermones ad populum, Augustine preached from two basic perspectives on poverty, charity, and future judgment. The first emphasizes the perils of riches and the transitory nature of earthly treasures, in place of which Augustine urges storing up treasure in heaven by giving to the poor (1 Timothy 6). The second focuses on the separation of the sheep and the goats in the parable of the last judgment in Matthew 25:31–46, which hinges on showing mercy to the poor who are Christ in the world. Additional scriptural texts, some common to both, support each view. Although the two perspectives and their signifying texts persist throughout Augustine’s preaching, at times even appearing in the same sermon, there is a discernible trend in what Augustine saw in these two visions of judgment. Banking metaphors and accruing heavenly interest on one’s investment in the poor tend to recede in the eschatological light of the Son of Man descending on the clouds to welcome into his kingdom those who mercifully welcomed him in this world.

Table References

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Two Important Studies on Context and Dating of the Sermons Are Also Helpful:

  1. Kunzelmann, Adelbert. “Die Chronologie der Sermones des hl. Augustinus.” In Miscellanea Agostiniana 2, 417–520. Roma: Tipografia Poliglotta Vaticana, 1931.Google Scholar
  2. Perler, Othmar. Les Voyages de Saint Augustin. Paris: Institut d’études augustiniennes, 1969.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Francine Cardman
    • 1
  1. 1.Boston CollegeChestnut HillUSA

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