on 27 October 2014
A timeless classic and I am sure many have said similar and for very good reasons which are apparent to anyone who wants to learn more about the faith of this Saint. The writing and translation in this Penguin edition is far superior in my opinion to the the OUP edition. Compare the passages and I think most, but not all, will agree.
Saint Augustine, observes: "They look for happiness, not in you, but in what you have created." This is the autobiography of a proud and intelligent man of rhetoric, a philosopher, a gnostic, and a sinner who spent well over ten years considering the pros and cons of Christianity. Yet many have deliberated longer including myself.
Nevertheless, events finally reach a climax when Augustine hears about the conversion of two younger men who give their lives to Christ within hours of knowing more about the Christian faith. In light of this Augustine goes into the garden and throws himself in misery at the feet of a merciful God.
I first came across St. Augustine's "Confessions" when I was a freshman in college. It was a monumental experience in terms of both the content of his writing and the freshness and relevance of his writing style. After re-reading them again recently, I am still struck with how contemporary the book feels. Aside from many of its 4th century particularities, the concerns that St. Augustine had and the way he frankly and honestly dealt with them could be lifted from almost any contemporary tell-all autobiography. The biggest exception is the fact that "Confessions" is a quintessentially and irreducibly a religious text, and in an age when religious considerations are largely pushed towards the margins of their life stories, it is refreshing and uplifting to see what would a life look like for someone who took them very seriously and committed himself to reorganizing one's whole life around the idea of serving God wholly and uncompromisingly. "Confessions" is a very accessible text, and for the most part it does not deal with theological and philosophical issues. The exception is the latter part of the book, which are almost exclusively dedicated to those topics. You may want to skip those at the first reading, but I would encourage you to read them nevertheless. Maybe the very inspiring and uplifting story of St. Augustine's conversion to Christianity can lead you into deeper considerations about your faith or the meaning of life in general. I cannot think of a better introduction to those topics than "Confessions," nor of a better guide than St. Augustine.
on 13 May 2000
What a beautiful book. Only a few pages in and I was captured. Augustine writes with such passion and honesty - braving areas of the Christian life many of us prefer to pretend we never experience. This book is the most inspiring I have read and really fuelled my hunger for God. Without imposing views on us, Augustine's observations on life and God provide answers to the most difficult aspects of Christian life. This really left me on a high - revitalised, after some awful life experiences. I felt moved and strengthened, particularly by how much I felt I could relate to Augustine who is very open and honest about his life and faith. This book is a must have. Christian or not, you must read this book. Praise God for inspiring Augustine to share these wonderful words with us.
on 15 December 2012
this is an excellent outstanding spiritual classic and everyone should read it. Amazing how the human condition is timeless and does not change, nor does God's love and power, and means of dealing with our soul's state. I love St Augustine. On a personal note, it has helped bring light in moments of extreme darkness on my soul journey.