2) The emphasis in Aristotle on the importance of the individual gives a good basis for tendencies which are far from Augustine, who wanted the community of the Church.
3) Aristotle speaks about the middle way between the extremes. He denies anything like the erotic and ascetic ecstasies of Augustine. Again, it is a quasi-bourgeois attitude. The consequences of this later on became very outspoken in Protestantism.
4) Aristotle represents the special sciences, which deal with things in their rational and horizontal relationship. Augustine denies the possibility of such, or he denies their importance – what is important is the knowledge of God and the soul, but not of the natural things.
5) Aristotle is a logician. There is no special interest in logic in Augustine. The intuitive and voluntaristic character of his thinking made him disinterested in the abstractions of pure logic.
6) In some way this is the most important thing: Aristotle is an inductive thinker, he is an empiricist. He starts from the given reality in time and space and goes up from there to the highest abstractions. Augustine, following Plato, is an intuitive thinker: he starts from above and goes down to the empirical realities.
These two attitudes were due to clash in the moment in which Aristotle was rediscovered in the ancient world – in the 13th century, which for this reason is the greatest century of Christian theology, and which is completely determined by the tension between Aristotle and Augustine. This tension continues through all the following centuries, and if you want to put a label on me, call me an “Augustinian,” and in this sense, an anti-Aristotelian and an anti-Thomist, in the fundamental attitude of Augustine with respect to the philosophy of religion – not in many other things; for instance, as a gestalt theologian or philosopher I am much nearer to Aristotle than to Augustine or Plato, because the idea of the living structure of a living organism is Aristotelian, while the atomistic, mechanical, mathematical science is Augustinian-Platonic. So there are some exceptions, and we will have more of them in the Middle Ages. But if you want to have the basic line of thought, don’t forget what I told you here: After seven influences from the whole ancient world were mediated through the Middle Ages and to us, through Augustine, one of them was not (mediated): that for which Aristotle stands.
Augustine’s epistemology. The purpose – at the same time, the way – of knowledge is expressed in his famous words: “I wish to know God and the soul.” “Nothing else?” “Nothing at all.” God and the soul. This means the point where God appears to man: in the soul. This he wants to know because only there can he know God, and in no other place. This implies, .of course, that God is not an object besides other objects. God is seen in the soul. He is in the center of man, before the split into subjectivity and objectivity. He is not a strange being, whose existence or non- existence one might discuss, but He is our own apriori, He precedes ourselves in dignity” and reality, and logical validity. In him the split between the subject and object, and the desire of the subject to know the object is overcome. There is no such gap. God is given to the subject as nearer to itself than it itself is to itself.
Now therefore the source point of all philosophy of religion in the Augustinian tradition, is the immediacy of the presence of God in the soul, or, as I like to call it, the experience of the unconditional, of the ultimate, in terms of an ultimate or an unconditional concern. This is the prius of everything. This is not a matter of discussing whether or not somebody exists.