“Augustine on the Origin and Progress of Evil”

Burns, Patout. “Augustine on the Origin and Progress of Evil.” Journal of Religious Ethics, Vol.   16 (1988), pp. 9-27


“Augustine distinguished apparent evil, conflict and corruption among bodies from true evil, the self-initiated corruption of created spirits. Angels and humans fail to maintain the perfection of knowledge and love given by God and then turn to themselves as the focus of attention and appreciation. The original failures of both demons and humans were neither provoked nor persuaded by any outside bodily or spiritual force: each was an autonomous and self-initiated sin of pride. This fundamental evil underlies and gives rise to every other sin among humans and angels.”