Augustine, Ancestors and the Problem of Evil: African Religions, the Donatists, and the African Manichees

  • Wei Hua
Keywords: Augustine, African Traditional Religions, Ancestors, Problem of Evil, Free Will, Donatism, Northern African Religions.


In this paper, I compare the philosophy of Augustine with the philosophy of relevant African traditions: Donatists, Manichees, and African traditional religions. I try to demonstrate that Augustine’s religious thought was partly influenced by local African religions or movements, but also differed from them substantially. I will carry out this comparative work looking at two important issues: (a) the problem of evil and (b) the existence of other supernatural entities, such as ancestors, and their relationship with humans. These comparisons lead to a new understanding of evil in Augustine’s thought; namely, evil as an inevitable world phenomenon.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2408-5987
print ISSN: 2276-8386