26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
This book was worth waiting-for,
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This review is from: Augustine of Hippo: A Biography (Paperback)
Why should I buy a study of St. Augustine which is 30 years old, and I have already on my shelves? Because Peter Brown, in this new revised edition, adds to an unchanged text another 65 pages plus notes, which take into account two dramatic finds which occurred since his book was first published.There are the 'Divjak Letters' found in 1975 and the 'Dolbeau Sermons' discovered in 1990. These add considerably to our understanding of Augustine. But in the 30 years, Brown himself has matured enormously, as we might expect. I always had the feeling with the original edition that he understood the period very well, but missed out on the essential Augustine. If this was true in the past, it certainly is not so now. For that alone, this book is worth buying. The second chapter of Brown's Epilogue considers the new directions in Augustinian studies. Certainly, there has ben a renaissance in English language publications, most recently with O'Connell's magisterial 3 volume edtion of the Confessions and Alan Fitzgerald's astounding encyclopaedia: Augustine through the Ages. But Brown remarks that other small biographies have come to be written since he first wrote, concerning asceticism and monastic practice in the life of Augustine. I feel that much more need to be done here, as Augustine's only wish was to be a monk, and other preferments were forced upon him. Augustine as the 'Servant of God'' needs looking at still, if we are to have a rounded picture of him All in all, I thank Peter Brown for providing us witha good overview of Augustine in the light of the recent discoveries and the new directions.