Journal Title

Journal of Religion & Society (Supplement Series)

Publication Date



A Carthaginian deacon named Deogratias asked Augustine for advice on how to improve his teaching for inquirers. Augustine obliged by writing De catechizandis rudibus (On Instructing Beginners), a masterful survey of need-to-know essentials on the story of salvation, the unity of Scripture, and their deep center in Christ. But the work did more than teach the basics of faith. Augustine saw that the deacon needed not only more information but also more assiduous practice in giving his learners the humble Christian love that he was teaching about. Beginning with descriptions of God’s accommodating love to humanity in Christ, Augustine demonstrated the crucial role of love in the work of a Christian teacher by displaying it literarily to Deogratias by his kindly approach and way of writing. Not merely giving commands or spouting theories, Augustine’s De catechizandis rudibus subtly offered a model of love itself for the beginning teacher Deogratias to imitate.

Author Supplied Keywords

Deogratias, Love, Teacher, Humility, Christology, Beginner, Model


Augustine, Saint, Catholic Church -- Doctrines; Preaching

Publication Information

© 2018 Michael Cameron

Archived version is final published version.



Document Type

Journal Article