Here is some more interesting facts about SAUT…
“Vision and Mission
St. Augustine University of Tanzania, a secular and private institution of higher learning owned and managed by the Catholic Church, is dedicated to St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430 A.D.), with the motto “Building the City of God”.
When the Catholic Bishops of Tanzania decided to extend the Church’s services to the provision of higher education they envisioned a training that would impart academic and professional skills, as well as inculcate values of civic and social learning, such as acquisition of national identity, cultural norms, political growth and responsible citizenship. Thus the Church’s vision is holistic development of a person and respect for human dignity.
St. Augustine University of Tanzania strives at:
i. being a centre of excellence by providing a high quality of education, research and public service;
ii. promoting the pursuit and defense of truth with transparency and honesty, and service with competence and dedication;
iii. developing a sense of caring for personal and community property.
iv. a holistic development of the person by providing a sound knowledge, higher analytical ability and commitment to generous service and respect to humankind.
Conscious of man’s orientation towards God and neighbour and fostering an ethical and service-orented approach in its academic and professional training, St. Augustine University of Tanzania fulfils its goal by preparing persons well equipped to contribute to the ideals of social, economic and political development.“
Surprisingly, I’m having discussions about religion here at SAUT once in a while. Worry not mother, I’m staying diplomatic. Anyway, a few days ago I was sitting at Gamba beach with a lecturer of mine and the owner of Nyegezi Mini Supermarket, Lenny. Lenny was studying to become a priest before, until he realized that he won’t be able to support his younger siblings with the money that comes out from being a priest, and decided to stop only a few days before he was to become a priest. Now he has a few businesses and he travels around the world ever so often. Anyway, Lenny still knows a thing or two about Christianity.
We were talking about ancestor worship, witchcraft and all sorts of normal things here in Tanzania, when I was asked whether Finland had natural religions. Not about to lie, I said of course. We have our shamans and the Vikings could never take over Finland because they were so scared of our witches. Christianity was as much of an imported religion to Finland as it was to Tanzania. After pondering on these things for a while, Lenny poured some of his konyagi on the sand and started reciting something in Kisukuma (I think). He told my lecturer and myself that is the way you get the blessings of your ancestors, by giving them some gifts. I decided to give my ancestors some beer as well.
Lenny went on to say, that he thinks it’s ok to still remember our ancestors. “I’ve never seen any Saints from Tanzania or Africa. I’ve never seen an African being chosen as a Saint. I think our ancestors are our Saints”.
I liked that thought. And it just goes to show what a faint line there still is between the pre-Christian and the Christian era.
The original point of this story was that when you type in “St. Augustine of Hippo” (the guy who this University is dedicated to) in Google Images, you find that most of the pictures of him depict him as caucasian. Even though he was born in what we today call Algeria. I wonder what he really looked like… Maybe something like this:
St. Augustine of Hippo - Icon by Nancy Oliphant
I am supposed to be doing something else completely right now, but I love history, so here’s a few interesting facts I found out about St. Augustine.
– Augustine was born on November 13th, 354 at Tagaste, North Africa.
– He died on 28th August, 430 in Hippo. (Where he was ordained Bishop of Hippo in 396).
– Before converting to Christianity he was attracted to Manichaeism and Neoplatonism.
– Augustine was a prolific writer and his own words were very important for the formation of church doctrine.
– Augustine was one of the 8 great Doctors of the Church – he may have been the most influential philosopher ever.
– His most famous works are Confessions and City of God. —> hence “Building the City of God”
– Apparently the Eastern Christians mostly consider Augustine a heretic.
– Some of his famous quotes:
“My ears were already satiated with similar things; neither did they appear to me more conclusive, because better expressed; nor true, because oratorical; nor the spirit necessarily wise, because the face was comely and the language eloquent.”
– Confessions V. 6
A Meditation of St. Augustine
“Late have I loved you, O Beauty so ancient and so new. Too late have I loved you!
You were within me while I had gone outside to seek you. In my unloveliness, I fell heedlessly upon all those lovely things you had made. Always you were with me, but I was not with you. Created things kept me far from you; yet if they had not been in you, they would not have been at all.
You called, you shouted, you broke open my deafness. You blazed, you gleamed, you banished my blindness. You lavished your fragrance, I gasped, and now I long for you. I tasted you, and now I hunger and thirst. You touched me, and now I burn with desire for your peace.”
– Confessions (X, 27,38)