Saint Augustine: The Place of Happiness

  • Joseph McBride


Saint Augustine’s name appears only infrequently in Camus’ writings. He is mentioned explicitly in La Peste (1937)1 and implicitly in L’Homme révolté (1951)2; and his name appears, for example, in a notebook entry dated October 19463 as well as in an interview published in the Revue du Caire (1948).4 If Augustine’s name appears only rarely in Camus’ writings, however, Augustinian themes abound in those same writings. Le Mythe de Sisyphe and L’Etranger have, as one of their major concerns, the theme of human autonomy. La Peste is about the problem of evil, and contains an explicit rejection of Augustine’s free will defence.5 L’Homme révolté has as one of its main themes that of a substitute universe and is concerned, to a large extent, with the Augustinian notion of moderation. La Chute is about Original Sin. And in a talk which was delivered in 1948 and published as L’Incroyant et les Chrétiens, 6 Camus mentioned, as Archambault says,7 two themes which were of great concern to him: that of man’s desperate need of grace and that of the damnation of unbaptized children. He insisted, moreover, that he himself was not the author of those themes.


Happy Life Final Chapter Moral Evil Historical Importance Natural Evil 
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© Joseph McBride 1992

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  • Joseph McBride

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