The relationship between the two philosophers extends well beyond their resting places, of course, evidenced by the tremendous influence they both had on medieval thought. **. While God is recognized as good in both philosophy and Christianity, the general perception of God from a more naïve Christian standpoint is that he is more authoritative and omnipotent as opposed to the being through which one seeks happiness. But we have agreed that perfect good is true happiness; so that it follows that true happiness is to be found in the supreme God. The concept that God is the key to happiness is both comforting and useful to us. And happiness, in the end, is sharing in the divine nature by God’s grace and love. ', and 'Nunc fluens facit tempus, nunc stans facit aeternitatum. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. He played a significant role in defining key terms such as “nature” and “person” in the aftermath of the Councils of Ephesus (431) and Chalcedon (451), ecumenical synods that respectively addressed Nestorianism (the heresy which taught that Christ had one nature only), and defined the hypostatic union (the relationship between Christ’s two natures as present in one Person). Boethius, David R Slavitt (2008). I do not think he despaired of it.” He further argued, “If we asked Boethius why his book contained philosophical rather than religious consolations, I do not doubt that he would have answered, ‘But did you not read my title? (Christian Philosophy in the Middle Ages, 106). 2:I: Augustine to Bonaventure, 118). In 2008, Pope Benedict XVI devoted part of a Wednesday general audience to Boethius (c. 480-c. 524), a little-known Roman who lived in the waning days of the Empire. So, it is quite difficult to imagine Boethius disagreeing with Augustine. —David Knowles, The Evolution of Medieval Thought, 55. Next, he argues that perfect happiness can be found only in God. Indeed, it is the highest of all goods, and gathers all goods within itself. If any good were lacking to it, it could not be the highest good, since some desirable thing would be left outside it. I wrote philosophically, not religiously, because I had chosen the consolations of philosophy, not those of religion, as my subject’” (77-78). (The now that passes produces time, the now that remains produces eternity.)' God is Happiness. Boethius’ Christian faith was “superficial and failed him when brought to the test” and he fell back onto his neo-Platonic philosophy to bolster himself. Here, in the very middle of the book, we learn that God is equivalent to happiness. Having initially earned the favor of Theoderic, king of Ravenna and regent of the Visigoths, Boethius found himself accused by the king—an Arian—of treason. Why is this good for us to know? One of his goals was to translate the works of Plato and Aristotle into Latin, and he wrote works on logic, mathematics, and theology. It was short, in large part, because he lived, as Pope Benedict noted in his March 12 audience, “in some of the most turbulent years in the Christian West and in the Italian Peninsula in particular.” It was impressive because Boethius was a man of remarkable genius and character. He was born into a noble family whose lineage included Roman emperors, and he was a senator at the age of 25. It gives hope to people with low income or those without power that they can still attain happiness. The central question upon which Boethius focuses is that of obtaining happiness and by what means we can do so, and in this chapter, the question is answered. The former’s “programmatic wedding of faith and reason, owing much to Augustine, is expressed in a philosophical idiom more comprehensible, because more Aristotelian, than that of the earlier doctor” (The Evolution of Medieval Thought, 55). Find the quotes you need in Boethius's The Consolation of Philosophy, sortable by theme, character, or part.