Community Properties

Modern Post-Conversion Identity in the Light of Augustine’s Example

I have come to bristle at the word “community,” so often is it used in our time to describe and to justify any group of people, living in the same area or not, who are united by an ethnicity, a debility, or a common behavior, and whom the Church is supposed to approach ducking and scraping. This business of communities warrants some attention.

When Augustine finally gave his life up to Christ, it was to allow the Lord to sever the bonds that bound him to the corrupt courses of his past. It did not just mean that he would no longer seek the pleasures of the bedchamber. It meant that he would enter one community, the Church, a true community though populated by the common run of human sinners, such as we are, and leave several pseudo-communities or anti-communities he had once belonged to, regardless of the degrees and kinds of human goods he might find there.

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Anthony Esolen is the author of over thirty books, including Real Music: A Guide to the Timeless Hymns of the Church (Tan, with a CD), Out of the Ashes: Rebuilding American Culture (Regnery), and The Hundredfold: Songs for the Lord (Ignatius). He has also translated Dante’s Divine Comedy (Random House). He and his wife Debra publish a web magazine, Word and Song (anthonyesolen.substack.com), on poetry, hymnody, language, classic films, and music. He is a senior editor of Touchstone.

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