Augustine and C.S. Lewis on Friendship


  • Walter Hansen Fuller Theological Seminary


St Augustine, The Four Loves, Confessions, The Confessions, pears, City of God, golden sessions, Inklings, Alypius, Simplicianus, Ambrose, Verecundus, Severus, Possidius, Paulinus, Stoic, apathy, Grief Observed, Platonic, Love, eros, phileo, unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable, heart


In The Four Loves C.S. Lewis critiques Augustine’s view of friendship. A recent study of Augustine, however, has led Walter Hansen to conclude that Lewis was wrong about Augustine's view of friendship. Lewis could have relied upon Augustine as a great ally to strengthen his essay on friendship love; instead, "with trembling" Lewis rejected St Augustine's teaching. It is "with trembling," then, that Walter Hansen offers a correction to Lewis. Hansen argues not that Lewis misread Augustine but that Lewis and Augustine actually had the same perspective on friendship love.

Author Biography

Walter Hansen, Fuller Theological Seminary

Walter Hansen (B.A., Philosophy Major, Wheaton College, 1968; M.Div., Trinity Evangelical Divinity School; Th.D., University of Toronto) serves as Professor Emeritus of New Testament Interpretation at Fuller Theological
Seminary. Walter is also a Member of the Advisory Board of the Marion E. Wade Center. In addition to other books and articles on biblical studies, theology, and visual arts, he is the author of Commentary on Galatians (1994), Abraham in Galatians: Epistolary and Rhetorical Contexts (1989), The Letter to the Philippians (2009), and Through Your Eyes: Dialogues on the Paintings of Bruce Herman (co-authored with Bruce Herman; 2013). Walter is a voracious reader of Augustine ever since writing a paper on him for Dr. Arthur Holmes in 1966.