72 Spirituality Studies 9-1 Spring 2023 1 Introduction When it comes to the life of early Christian bishop and theologian Augustine of Hippo (354–430) we know that after his baptism in 387 he sold his father’s property and gave the money to the poor (Augustinus 1904, 12–13). He rented a house in Cassiacum with his friends, where they implemented a monastic way of life, in peace and ascetism and reflected over religion and philosophy, just as he had desired for a long time: “Together we were, together we lived in sacred friendship, looking for some place where we could engage more usefully at your service.” (Augustinus 1981, 137). This community was not monastic in the literal sense of the word; it was partly monastic and partly aimed at study – a life in solitude interwoven with philosophical debates: “We would start our dispute only at sunset, after spending the whole day with provincial matters and mainly with explanation of the first book by Vergilius.” (Augustinus 1982, 12). Augustine understood renunciation of the world and adhesion to a monastic way of life as keeping aside from active life associated with acceptance of public Church office. God’s calling, however, drew him to public service for the Church in the apostolic mission as a bishop of Hippo Regius. Augustine accepted the result of the election, although he saw it as a heavy burden (episcopatus sarcina) until the end of his life. It seems that the main reason for this acceptance was his perception of the intervention of divine providence and grace into human life. A lecture on Augustine’s works reminds us that he lived his whole life as a constant battle between his desire to live in contemplation and study the Word of God on the one hand and duties emerging from his priestly and episcopal consecration on the other hand. The post-Augustinian tradition accepted the existence of two separate forms of life in the Church as a given fact and developed further reflections over both without trying to analyze the author’s thinking in a holistic way. Thus, we have a well-documented division between spirituality and practice of the Church. Therefore, we will start our study with an analysis of two main lines of the author’s spirituality, i.e., the relation between action and contemplation, the separate existence of which can be documented by his texts. Subsequently, we will point to the existence of texts that prove that we are talking about two mutually complementary styles of Christian life, the idea of which stems from Varron’s philosophical tradition and biblical texts of the Old and New Testament. Augustine based his reflections on the assumption that there are two different actions of human reason emerging from the unity of the human soul, which – in his opinion – was necessary to put into symbiosis. The aim of this study is to point to the fact of existence of a unique Augustinian early Christian symbiosis of contemplation in action, which has not yet been explored in the history of Christian spirituality. The thing is, that although Augustine emphasized the existence of two mutually complementary styles of Christian life, an analysis of his texts shows that he particularly developed his own attitude in the sense that can be characterized as a unique early Christian symbiosis of contemplation in action. 2 Methodology The study of Augustine’s works in the context of the history has been influenced by denominational interpretation of his thinking, as well as by putting emphasis on a certain part of his literary corpus. Thus, in this study we approach the Augustinian corpus synchronously, by reading the selected text in its final version as a literary and theological text, because it is not possible to implement a chronological approach to most of Augustine’s texts, mainly his sermons. We proceed with the use of the hermeneutical method of “emerging topics,” which enables us to avoid a scholastic approach, within which the texts were approached with spiritual-theological thoughts prepared in advance and the aim was to find their confirmation in the text. Our method is based on a holistic and continuous reading of the texts, which gradually underlined certain frequently appearing thoughts and themes and thus confirmed their importance. Texts, or more precisely first-person reports, are the main source of our knowledge on spirituality as Martin Dojčár points out (2017, 46). The benefit of this method lies in the fact that the text itself marks certain topics as crucial, without the reader trying to push in his own agenda (Borgomeo 1972, 16–17). We have reduced secondary literary sources to a minimum, as we prefer the analysis of original texts in their specific and contextual perception. 3 Augustine’s Philosophical and Biblical Sources Augustine’s thinking was influenced by the intellectual reflections of his predecessors – pagan philosophers – and was subsequently enriched by texts of the Bible. He often uses allegories (Nemec 2021, 51). In the Book 19 of The City of God, Augustine analyzes this inherited intellectual wealth handed over to him by the writing De philosophia written by philosopher Marcus Terentius Varro (116–27 BC), fragments of whose opus have only been preserved in the quoted work