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Confessions of St. Augustine (Paraclete Living Library) Vinyl Bound – Jun 1997


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Product details

  • Vinyl Bound: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Catholic Book Publishing Corp (Jun. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0899421695
  • ISBN-13: 978-0899421698
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 11.7 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,301,117 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Synopsis

"Confessions" is one of the most moving diaries ever recorded of a man's journey to the fountain of God's grace. Writing as a sinner, not a saint, Augustine shares his innermost thoughts and conversion experiences and wrestles with the spiritual questions that have stirred the hearts of the thoughtful since time began. Starting with his childhood in Numidia, through his youth and early adulthood in Carthage, Rome, and Milan, readers will see Augustine as a human being, a fellow traveler on the road to salvation. Though staggering around potholes and roadblocks, all Chrisitians will find strength in Augustine's message: When the road gets rough, look to God! Previously released in 1977, this book invites readers to join Augustine in his quest that led him to be one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the history of the church. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME on 13 July 2005
Format: Paperback
Augustine's 'Confessions' is among the most important books ever written. One of the first autobiographical works in the modern sense, it also represents the first time a psychological and theological enterprise were combined. It also helps to bridge the gap between the Classical world and the Medieval world, exhibiting strong elements identifying with each of those major historical periods.
Most undergraduates in the liberal arts encounter the book at some point; all seminarians do (or should!). Many adults find (or rediscover) the book later, after school. For many in these categories, there are concepts, narrative strands and historical data new and unusual for them. However, Augustine's 'Confessions' is still generally more accessible in many ways that truly classical pieces; it has interior description as well as external reporting that we are familiar with in modern writing.
The 'Confessions' shows Augustine's personality well - he was a passionate person, but his focus wavered for much of his life until finally settling upon Christianity and the Neoplatonic synthesis with this faith. Even while remaining a passionate Christian and rejecting the sort of dualism present in the Manichee teachings, he varied between various positions within these systems. Augustine's varied thought reaches through many denominational and scholarly paradigms.
The 'Confessions' are divided into thirteen chapters, termed 'Books' - the first ten of the books are autobiographical, with Augustine describing both events in his life as well as his philosophical and religious wanderings during the course of his life. The text is somewhat difficult to take at times, as this is writing with a purpose, as indeed most autobiographies are.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 22 Nov. 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is amazing! I bought this book to give to a friend as I was given my first copy by another friend. Every time I read the book I pick up on a different point which I could relate to. It's a book written to help us get closer to God, even though we may be burdened with the many sins of this world. I love the detailed analysis of St Augustine as he delves into day-to-day occurrences of how God is with him, whether it is going to watch theatres or our dealings with other people. I am able to identify with him, and it makes me appreciate the emotions he expresses as he guides you on his path to knowing Christ even though one would say his sins cannot be forgiven.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bridget Manning on 18 May 2009
Format: Paperback
St. Augustine - Confessions. This is one of the most remarkable writings from a self confessed 'sinner' to his conversion. Philosophical, intellectual, and still easy for the ordinary person to understand. His message is 'God never gives up' on anyone and if St. Augustine can become a saint any one can. There is hope for all of us.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 18 reviews
128 of 131 people found the following review helpful
Only an abridgement 21 Aug. 2005
By A Reader - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Like the Carolinne White translation of the "Confessions," also carried by Amazon, this paperback does not have the complete original text. Rather, some of the ideas have been selected out by someone and are here rephrased into more contemporary language. That's OK, but anyone buying this book ought to know that this version is an abridgement and not the full text of the "Confessions" that they're buying.
43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
Take and read! 13 July 2005
By FrKurt Messick - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Augustine's 'Confessions' is among the most important books ever written. One of the first autobiographical works in the modern sense, it also represents the first time a psychological and theological enterprise were combined. It also helps to bridge the gap between the Classical world and the Medieval world, exhibiting strong elements identifying with each of those major historical periods.

Most undergraduates in the liberal arts encounter the book at some point; all seminarians do (or should!). Many adults find (or rediscover) the book later, after school. For many in these categories, there are concepts, narrative strands and historical data new and unusual for them. However, Augustine's 'Confessions' is still generally more accessible in many ways that truly classical pieces; it has interior description as well as external reporting that we are familiar with in modern writing.

The 'Confessions' shows Augustine's personality well - he was a passionate person, but his focus wavered for much of his life until finally settling upon Christianity and the Neoplatonic synthesis with this faith. Even while remaining a passionate Christian and rejecting the sort of dualism present in the Manichee teachings, he varied between various positions within these systems. Augustine's varied thought reaches through many denominational and scholarly paradigms.

The 'Confessions' are divided into thirteen chapters, termed 'Books' - the first ten of the books are autobiographical, with Augustine describing both events in his life as well as his philosophical and religious wanderings during the course of his life. The text is somewhat difficult to take at times, as this is writing with a purpose, as indeed most autobiographies are. The purpose here at times seems to be to paint Augustine in the worst possible light (the worse his condition, the better his conversion/salvation ends up being); at other times, one gets a sense (as one might get when reading the Pauline epistles) that there is some significant degree of ego at work here (Paul boasts of being among the better students, and so does Augustine, etc.).

Augustine also uses his Confessions as a tract against the Manichean system - once a faithful adherent, Augustine later rejects the Manichean beliefs as heretical; however, one cannot get past the idea that Augustine retained certain of their intellectual aspects in his own constructions even while denouncing them in his official life story.

The whole of the conversion turns on two primary books - Book Seven, his conversion to the Neoplatonic view of the world, including the metaphysics and the ethics that come along with this system; and Book 8, which describes his conversion to Christianity proper. This is where perhaps the most famous directive, 'Tolle! Lege!' ('Take and read!') comes from - Augustine heard a voice, and he picked up the nearest book, which happened to be a portion of the Pauline epistles, arguing against the undisciplined lifestyle Augustine lived. Scholars continue to debate whether Augustine's conversion to Christianity was more profound or more important than his conversion to Neoplatonism; in any event, Christianity interpreted through a Platonic framework became the norm for centuries, and remains a strong current within the Christian world view; Protestant reformers as they went back to the 'original bible' in distinction from the Catholic interpretations of the day also went back to the 'original Augustine' for much of their theology.

The final three books are Augustine's dealing with the creation of the world via narrative stories in Genesis 1 exegetically and hermeneutically. This is very different from what is done in modern biblical scholarship, but is significant in many respects, not the least of which as it gives a model of the way Augustine dealt with biblical texts; given Augustine's towering presence over the development of Western Christianity in both Catholic and Protestant strands, understanding his methods and interpretative framework can lead to significant insights into the ideas of medieval and later church figures.

This is a book that will be of interest to novice readers of Augustine as well as scholars, to students, clergy and laypersons, and anyone else who might have an historical, literary, philosophical, theological or other interest in Augustine - something for everyone, perhaps?
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
A Niche Version of Primarily Devotional Interest 7 Mar. 2006
By Stanford Gibson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I, with other reviewers, 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.
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
Abridged Confessions 12 Jan. 2006
By B. Kyle - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Nothing in the description indicates that this is heavily abridged. The introduction (after you've purchased the book) actually refers to this version not as translated (no translator is credited) but paraphrased. It is not even partitioned into St. Augustine's original 13 "books," but is instead resectioned with "new" chapter titles. I had to repurchase the book.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Hey, part of it is missing!!! 3 Aug. 2006
By Benny B. Barrett - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The Augustine part is fine and the translator did a wonderful job, but why were the parts edited out? Saint Augustine was just like us in his struggles to not only come to Christianity but also to live the Christian life after his conversion. He writes about his screw-ups, failures, and triumphs in such a humble, heart rendering manner I wish I had articulated it that way first. All Christians should have this book in their library to be read and re-read often. PAX, bb
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