Who is Saint Ambrosius?December 13, 2020
One of the most important names that helped Augustine’s conversion to Christianity is undoubtedly St. Ambrosius. Born in 333, Ambrosius knew Greek and had read the works of Origenes and the Jewish Philon.
When he passed away in 397, he left behind his basic works such as “De Fide” (On Faith) and “De Incarnatione” (On the Embodiment of God).
Ambrosius was a church father who wanted to keep philosophy away from Christianity and did not look favorably on philosophers. In particular, he blamed them for using dialectical methods. Nevertheless, like the other church fathers that we have mentioned before, who opposed philosophy, he had many ideas about philosophy in his works. As a matter of fact, the Neo-Platonic concepts found a great place for themselves in his philosophy.
What God says in the scripture “I am, I am.” (Ego sumquisum) has interpreted his utterance with an ontological understanding. He attributed the Latin essentiaterime to expressing a God-appropriate existence because it means the same as the Greek term ousia and argued that the correct translation and interpretation of these two terms should always exist . This thought was further elaborated by Augustinus.
Ambrosius has a reputation as a moral preacher. He morally evaluated and interpreted man’s duties towards God in his work titled “On the Duties of the Priests”, inspired by Cicero’s “DeOfficiis” (On Tasks). In addition, a work named “Hexaemeron” carries the traces of St. Basili’s thoughts.
One of the most remarkable aspects of Ambrosius is his understanding of interpretation by allegorizing the sacred texts. Using this style of interpretation, for example; He allegorized the story between the serpent and Adam and Eve in the Torah as follows: The snake symbolizes pleasure and Eve is a symbol of lust. Adam represents the mind deceived through his senses. As you can see, this is an attempt to interpret the story with moral concepts.
According to Ambrosius, the phrase paradise on earth in the holy book should not be taken as a sign of a place on earth. This points to the governing part of our soul, and is the grace and virtues of God in the rivers that water the earth in question, also mentioned in the scripture. Hellfire is not the fire in a place, it is the suffering of sin in our souls. The worm that gnaws our souls is nothing but repentance that gnaws the conscience of the sinner.
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer Yıldırım