Only a dedicated scholar would be able to tackle this book. When a friend saw me reading it, she said, “Augustine is weird.” That is a pretty good summary of his philosophy as contained in these Confessions. Nevertheless, Augustine’s philosophy remains the bedrock of Catholicism. He is venerated as a saint.
The book is in the form of prayers or supplications, mostly asking pardon for misdeeds in his early life and expressing a desire to know God more perfectly. There are thirteen chapters or “books.” Apparently Augustine was a libidinous man who had a longtime mistress (fourteen years) with whom he fathered a son. Augustine’s mother was a devout Catholic whose personal intense religiosity made Augustine’s conduct seem doubly bad. Augustine studied the Persian cult of Manichaeanism until he met the sect’s founder, who was not deep enough for Augustine. Augustine converted to Christianity in 386. Augustine made his living by lecturing and tutoring and soon left his farm in North Africa for Milan. The first part of this book is the memoir of his early life, and the latter part is theological and philosophical. The translator makes notes of her interpretations and seems extremely competent in translating the original Latin. However, only the truly saintly may get through the repetition and length of this tome.
This page was created by an City Book Review staff member.
|Author||Augustine • Sarah Ruden, Translator|
|Page Count||485 pages|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|
|Category||Biographies & Memoirs|