The Confessions (Oxford World's Classics) Paperback – 14 Aug 2008
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If the Latin is a "work of high art", so is this translation. (The Times)
About the Author
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.
About the Authors:
R.M. Hare is White's Professor of Moral Philosophy Emeritus at Oxford University and Research Professor at the University of Florida. Jonathan Barnes is Professor of Ancient Philosophy and a Fellow of Balliol College, Oxford University. Henry Chadwick is Master of Peterhouse, and Regius Professor
Emeritus of Divinity at the University of Cambridge.
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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 his problems, 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. ( This second part is very impressive and is the cause that "The Confessions" is in my personal top five of the best books I read during the last 30 years.)
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
very pleased. it arrived earlier than expected in excellent condition, thank you!Published 5 months ago by deenagh miller
Although written many years ago it surprised me how relative it is to life todayPublished 5 months ago by anne cannon
A beautifully written painfully honest account of Saint Augustine's life, full of tender reflection and philosophical enquiry. Read morePublished 11 months ago by L.W
(I confess I got this at a library sale, not on Amazon; and a translation by Albert Outler).
This is a fascinating book for many reasons beginning with an insight into 4th... Read more