One of the most influential religious books in the Christian tradition, The Confessions of St Augustine is more than an autobiography. Considered one of the great works of Western literature, it recalls crucial events and episodes in the author's life, in particular, life with his devoutly Christian mother and his origins in rural Algeria; the rise to a lavish life at the imperial court in Milan; his struggle with sexual desires, eventual renunciation of secular ambitions and marriage, and recovery of his Catholic faith. A detailed classic recounting of one man's spiritual journey and conversion, this important work will be invaluable to students of religion, religious scholars, and anyone interested in the impact made by one of the most important figures in the development of Christian thought. Unabridged republication of a standard edition.
I was deeply disappointed to find that this book (purchased elsewhere) was an undisclosed abridged version of Augustine's work and had to re-acquire it. There is no excuse for omitting this fact everywhere but a brief mention in the forward. (Note: this is the reason for 4 *'s as I'd never be so presuptuous to give Augustine less than 5) The text is of little value for historical interest. There is no mention of his concubine and even the famous pear trauma of his youth is omitted. It is worth noting, however, what is included. In a very readable "translation," is much of his devotional prose and repeated prayers of exaltation, self evaluation and gratitude. So, despite my disappointment, I have actually started recommending this text for those who do not have a philosophical, theological or historical interest in the great church father but would be interested in exploring his writings devotionally. It serves a significant purpose as an accessible window to Augustine's spiritual life and will serve particular readers quite well.
A reasonable exposition of ones journey toward faith. As can be expected, Augustine appears as a guilt ridden self effacing character; this trait beinq quit common among Christian authors.
Other similarities with other Christian authors include the evidence of God as provided by the knowledge of right and wrong.
Though prolix in some places with his endless praise and obesiance, it is evident that augustine is a philosopher of the first age, describing in details his eristics with the manacheists, the astrologists and arguements regarding the incorporeal nature of God and the corruptibility of substance.
A common trend throughout the book is his recourse to the human will as the source of evil; this being anathema to his two original beliefs (manicheaism and astrology which acribe evil as an unchosen parasite of substance or to God and the planets themselves); this being odd considering that he is generally considered the primany proponent of predestination.
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