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The Confessions of Saint Augustine: The Autobiography of a Prodigal Who Became a Saint [Paperback]

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Item Number 153150  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   256
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.22" Width: 5.08" Height: 0.68"
Weight:   0.64 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 19, 1997
Publisher   Touchstone
ISBN  0684846454  
EAN  9780684846453  

Availability  88 units.
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Item Description...
In The Confessions, Saint Augustine addressed himself eloquently and passionately to the enduring spiritual questions that have stirred the minds and hearts of thoughtful men since time began. Written A.D. 397, The Confessions are a history of the young Augustine's fierce struggle to overcome his profligate ways and achieve a life of spiritual grace.

The first ten books of the work relate the story of Augustine's childhood in Numidia; his licentious and riotous youth and early manhood in Carthage, Rome, and Milan; his continuous struggle with evil; his attempts to find an anchor for his faith among the Manicheans and the Neoplatonists; the untiring efforts of his mother, Saint Monnica, to save him from self-destruction; and his ultimate conversion to the Christian faith at the age of thirty-two.

The last three books of The Confessions, unrelated to the preceding account of Saint Augustine's early life, are an allegorical explanation of the Mosaic account of Creation. Throughout the work, the narrative, addressed to God, is intersperse with prayers, meditations, and instructions, many of which today are to be found in the liturgies of all sects of the Christian Church.

The Confessions constitute perhaps the most moving diary ever recorded of a soul's journey to grace. Appearing midway in Saint Augustine's prodigious body of theological writings, they stand among the most persuasive works of the sinner-turned-priest who was to exercise a greater influence on Christian thought than any of the other Church fathers.

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More About Bishop of Hippo Saint Augustine

Saint Augustine of Hippo Augustine was born in AD 354. He lived a wild, self-destructive life as a young man in Italy and was the subject of many prayers by his worried mother, Monica. After a life-changing conversion, he lived on to become a tremendous influence on Christian thinking. He died in AD 430.

Aurelius Augustinus [more commonly “St. Augustine of Hippo,” often simply “Augustine”] (354–430 C.E.): rhetor, Christian Neoplatonist, North African Bishop, Doctor of the Roman Catholic Church. One of the decisive developments in the western philosophical tradition was the eventually widespread merging of the Greek philosophical tradition and the Judeo-Christian religious and scriptural traditions. Augustine is one of the main figures through and by whom this merging was accomplished. He is, as well, one of the towering figures of medieval philosophy whose authority and thought came to exert a pervasive and enduring influence well into the modern period (e.g. Descartes and especially Malebranche), and even up to the present day, especially among those sympathetic to the religious tradition which he helped to shape (e.g. Plantinga 1992; Adams 1999). But even for those who do not share this sympathy, there is much in Augustine's thought that is worthy of serious philosophical attention. Augustine is not only one of the major sources whereby classical philosophy in general and Neoplatonism in particular enter into the mainstream of early and subsequent medieval philosophy, but there are significant contributions of his own that emerge from his modification of that Greco-Roman inheritance, e.g., his subtle accounts of belief and authority, his account of knowledge and illumination, his emphasis upon the importance and centrality of the will, and his focus upon a new way of conceptualizing the phenomena of human history, just to cite a few of the more conspicuous examples.

Saint Augustine of Hippo was born in 354 and died in 430.

Saint Augustine of Hippo has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Ancient Christian Writers
  2. Augustine (New City Press)
  3. Classics of Western Spirituality (Paperback)
  4. Expositions of the Psalms
  5. Faith Classics
  6. Ignatius Critical Editions
  7. Oxford Early Christian Studies (Hardcover)
  8. Paraclete Essential Deluxe
  9. Paraclete Living Library
  10. Pure Gold Classics
  11. Selections from the Fathers of the Church
  12. Sermons
  13. Teaching Christianity
  14. Texts and Translations
  15. Works of Saint Augustine
  16. Works of Saint Augustine (Hardcover Unnumbered)
  17. Works of Saint Augustine (Numbered)
  18. Works of Saint Augustine (Paperback Unnumbered)
  19. Works of Saint Augustine, a Translation for the 21st Century
  20. Works of Saint Augustine. Part III, Homilies
  21. Works of Saint Augustine: A Translation for the 21st Century

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A Voice From Ancient Times  Nov 22, 2007
Note: Your "helpful" votes are appreciated. Thanks.

This book is one that should be on every educated person's bookshelf. For a book written by a Christian in the fourth century, I was surprised at some of the details. For example, Augustine accepts autopsies as a matter of medical necessity. More well-known is his opposition to astrology.

Augustine also had surprisingly enlightened views about dress and appearance. Any race or ethnicity can enter the City of God (an argument made in "The City of God").

Augustine says that as a teenager, he and his friends stole some pears and threw them away. Have things really changed? Teenagers up to mischief!

In the "City of God," Augustine also marveled at the human mind.

"In general, the completeness of scientific knowledge is beyond all words and becomes all the more astonishing when one pursues any single aspect of this immense corpus of information. Last, but not least, is the brilliance of talent displayed by both pagan philosophers and Christian heretics in the defense of error and falsehood. In saying this, of course, I am thinking only of the nature of the human mind as a glory of this mortal life, not of faith and the way of truth that leads to eternal life."

Here are some more great lines. A philosopher was abroad a ship captained by a bad man, and after a violent storm, the fearless captain jeered the philosopher for his terror. Said the philosopher, quoting from a similar incident that occurred to the pagan Aristippus, `A rogue need not worry about losing his worthless life, but Aristippus has a duty to care for a life like his."

Finally, St. Augustine spoke to the modern world and to the "Creationists."

"It very often happens there is some question as to the earth or sky, or other elements of this world...respecting which, one who is not a Christian has knowledge...and it is very disgraceful and mischievous and of all things to be carefully avoided, that a Christian speaking of such matters as being according to the Christian Scriptures, should be heard by an unbeliever talking such nonsense that the unbeliever perceiving him to be as wide from the mark as east from west, can hardly restrain himself from laughing."

A Must Have Book!  Dec 20, 2005
St. Augustine's effect on the Christian religion can not be understated. This timeless work should be read by all religious and spiritual persons regardless of their path of preference if only to just understand where so many of Christianity concepts and dogma originate.
The Bishop Of Hippo.  Oct 9, 2005
Aurelius Augustinus 354-430 AD.
He was born in Thagesta in Numidia (North-Africa).The Confessions' has two parts. The first part is a kind of autobiography and the second part is a commentary to the first chapters of Genesis.
He taught rhetorics first in Carthago in Africa, later in Milan in Italy. But after a while he developed an aversion not only for rhetorics ( he began to consider it as useless and conceited and as a pool of sins ) but also for his fellow-man.
He began to show neurotic behaviour like having a fainting fit without apparent cause. It's for those reasons that psychologists like to study Augustine's Confessions.
As a result of all this, Augustine became a Christian and he was one of the first to found a monastery. Later on he became bishop of Hippo in North-Africa.

In the second part of 'The confessions' he tries to explain the first chapters of Genesis. His plan was to comment on the whole Bible but he soon understood that this was an impossible task for one man.
Nevertheless he's is considered as the Father of modern Theology because of his comments.
To give two examples: When the Bible says that God created man to His image, Augustine explains that it means that man knows the difference between good and evil just like God does, it doesn't mean a physical resemblance.
Another interesting thought is about Creation. Creation is not limited in space and time: since God is everywhere, Creation is also everywhere and goes on till eternity.

As conclusion I should mention that 'The Confessions'is also important because it is the first publication in Antiquity in which an author reveals his most inner feelings
Beautiful and Profound  Feb 1, 2003
Augustine relates the tale of his life as an unbeliever and his conversion. It is a remarkable picture of a mother's faithful prayers for her son and the power and mercy of God, by which he eventually became an important figure in the early church.

St. Monica, Augustine's mother, stood out as a remarkable woman of God. Her husband did not wish their son to be baptized, so she respected custom and obeyed his wishes. She prayed many years for the redemption of her son, and without her patience and faithfulness we may have been deprived of her son's beautiful, inspiring books.

The translation offered by the MacMillan Publishing Company is comparatively easy for the modern reader to understand, and much less likely to induce sleep than many other available translations. I first picked it up as a child, having found it on my father's shelves, and found it understandable even then.

Whether or not you are of Christian beliefs, this is a beautiful, deeply spiritual book and I highly recommend it.

Excellent Book, Wrong Translation  Apr 17, 2000
"The Confessions" is undoubtedly one of the great books of western civilization, and the paradigm of the autobiography genre. But Henry Chadwick's modern translation available through Oxford University Press is a more vibrant and exacting translation. Pusey's translation is too Victorian, which casts too much of the Patristic writer in a Victorian mode of being. Augustine was a preeminent rhetorician, which comes out more brilliantly in Chadwick's translation. Moreover, the philosophical arguments advanced by Augustine are more clearly stated in the Chadwick translation. The hardcover or paperback version from Oxford isn't any more expensive, but significantly better translated.

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