Graduation Year


Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Late Antique-Medieval Studies

Reader 1

Kenneth Wolf

Reader 2

Andrew Jacobs

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This thesis examines Augustine of Hippo's support of the cult of relics through the lens of Peter Brown's revision of the two-tiered model which was proposed in his 1981 book The Cult of Saints. More specifically, this thesis attempts to explain the introduction of saint's relics in the final book, book 22, of Augustine's magnum opus The City of God (De Civitate Dei). After providing proof of the theologian's opposition to the cult of relics in his youth, historical, biographical, and textual evidence is used to trace his later change of heart. This change in position is crystallized in a series of miracle accounts in the 8th chapter of the 22nd book. The analysis of this 'chain of miracles' is essential in understanding the purpose of the City of God as a whole and Augustine's own theories of death and resurrection.