Augustine's attraction to Neo-platonism


Augustine moving to Rome.
Disappointment with Manichaeism and the ill behavior of the students in Carthage Augutine moved to Rome-Augustine in Rome see picture above. There he inclined to accept the Skepticism of the Academy. Augustine acknowledges in Confessions book 5 chapter 10 that,
I was half inclined to believe that those philosophers whom they called "Academics" were more sagacious than rest, in that they held that we ought to doubt everything, and ruled that man had not the power of comprehending any truth.

Neo-Platonism


Augustine lecturing in Rome
Augustine lectured in Rome for a time, but it was not convenient for his career as a teacher of rhetoric because his students tried to avoid paying his fees. He therefore decided to go to Milan to fill a position as a teacher of rhetoric. It was in Milan that Augustine became a Neo-Platonist, and later a Christian.


Augustine's journey to Milan
By reading "Platonists," such as Plotinus, and Porphyry-Augustine was not only brought out of skepticism, but he passed the two main obstacles that were in the way of his intellectual acceptance of Christianity: the incorporeal nature of God, and the existence of evil,as Manichaen dualistic solutions were insufficient. Neo-Platonism offered Augustine a means of understanding the incorporeal nature, as well as interpreing the existence of evil without dualism. The influence of Neo-Platonism on Augustine was such that he always thought the incorpoeal nature of God and the problem of evil in Neo-Platonic terms.

Thus the way was open for Augustine for the acceptance of Christian faith (Conversion3).