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The Confessions of St. Augustine

by Saint Augustine

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
19,417142183 (3.94)452
One of the most influential religious books in the Christian tradition recalls crucial events in the author's life: his mid-4th-century origins in rural Algeria; the rise to a lavish lifestyle at the imperial court in Milan; his struggle with sexual desires; eventual renunciation of secular ambitions and marriage; and recovery of his Catholic faith.… (more)
  1. 51
    The Six Enneads by Plotinus (jpers36)
    jpers36: Plotinus was a major influence on Augustine.
  2. 32
    Early Christian Lives (Penguin Classics) by Carolinne White (Anonymous user)
  3. 54
    Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life by C. S. Lewis (2below)
    2below: For anyone interested in exploring spiritual autobiographies, C. S. Lewis' is worth checking out. Unlike Augustine, who covers the entire span of his life from birth to his conversion in adulthood, Lewis focuses on his childhood and young adult years and how his experiences during this time shaped the development of his spiritual life as he got older. I found Lewis' book a much quicker read than Augustine's, though both are very good.… (more)
  4. 00
    Holy Bible - Evangelical Heritage Version (EHV) by Wartburg Project (lhungsbe)
  5. 00
    The Book of Margery Kempe by Margery Kempe (Cecrow)
  6. 02
    Late Have I Loved Thee by Ethel Mannin (lisanicholas)
    lisanicholas: Mannin's novel is modeled on the real-life spiritual autobiography of St Augustine of Hippo. Read the original!
  7. 05
    The Public Hating {short story} by Steve Allen (satanburger)
    satanburger: CONFESSIONS 6.8 (you'll see the similarities)

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» See also 452 mentions

English (117)  Catalan (8)  Spanish (4)  French (3)  Portuguese (Portugal) (3)  Portuguese (Brazil) (2)  Italian (2)  Dutch (1)  Slovak (1)  All languages (141)
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An interesting look at St Augustine's life. He seemed to deal with similar concepts we deal with today (so not much has changed since 300 AD and 2013). I did find that at times he seemed to round in circles as he tried to understand what he was working through. This did make it slightly confusing. ( )
  JevKim | Apr 22, 2022 |
This book, along with the writings of Ignatius of Antioch are what started me down the path to Catholicism.

I started out as a Protestant who had a very deep interest in history. After reading Meditations by Marcus Aurelius I was looking for another memoir/biographical book from antiquity.

Confessions by St. Augustine was regarded as the first autobiographical book in the western tradition, while reading it I felt deeply connected with Augustine, so much so that I chose him as my confirmation name.

Augustine lead me to the Church Fathers who in turn lead me to the Catholic Church.

"To be deep in history is to cease being a Protestant" Henry Newman ( )
  licensedtodill | Feb 12, 2022 |
Spiritual self-examination written in Latin, the book tells of Augustine’s restless youth and of the stormy spiritual voyage that had ended some 12 years before the writing in the haven of the Roman Catholic church. In reality, the work is not so much autobiography as an exploration of the philosophical and emotional development of an individual soul. The Confessions broke entirely fresh ground as literature, and the genre of autobiography owes many of its characteristics to Augustine. ( )
  Marcos_Augusto | Oct 24, 2021 |
  hpryor | Aug 8, 2021 |
I tried to do this review in my head when I couldn’t be on my phone, but because it’s too much of a mystery, the whole thing didn’t gel right. So I’m going to expand on one aspect of that unwritten review, the “Pride and Prejudice” quote, and juxtapose it with a “Confessions (Augustine)” quote, and if that doesn’t qualify as a proper review…. I don’t know, but you could work it out, IMO, if you really wanted to.

“‘How despicably I have acted,’ she cried; ‘I, who have prided myself on my discernment! I, who have valued myself on my abilities! who have often disdained the generous candor of my sister, and gratified my vanity in useless or blamable mistrust! How humiliating is this discovery! Yet, how just a humiliation! Had I been in love, I could not have been more wretchedly blind. But vanity, not love, has been my folly. Pleased with the preference of one, and offended by the neglect of the other, on the very beginning of our acquaintance, I have courted prepossession and ignorance, and driven reason away, where either were concerned. Till this moment, I never knew myself.’”

“At the same time he told her how he himself as a small boy had been handed over to the Manichees by his mother, whom they had led astray. He had not only read nearly all their books but had even copied them. Although he had no one disputing with him and providing a refutation, it had become clear to him that that sect ought to be avoided, and therefore he had left it. When he had said this to her, she was still unwilling to take No for an answer. She pressed him with more begging and floods of tears, asking him to see me and debate with me. He was now irritated and a little vexed and said: ‘Go away from me: as you live, it cannot be that the son of these tears should perish.’ In her conversations with me she often used to recall that she had taken these words as if they had sounded from heaven.”

Mary Bennet: *claps* I am pleased.
Kitty: Oh! La!
Lydia: You made Mary happy, what a bore.
Jane: *smiles* It isn’t so bad, is it, to make Mary happy.
Elizabeth: *laughs* Oh, just this once.

…. Mary: *crying*
Mr Bennet: Mary, what’s wrong?
Mary: The bishop, Augustine’s friend. He couldn’t read books all day, because he had to help his friends.
Mr Bennet: *waves her off*

…. There are times when Augustine is a bit of an accuser, but I think this can be exaggerated. Anyway, I do not want to imitate the waitstaff who, when I was a dishwasher, would come into the kitchen and hypocritically chew out the diners for complaining about things. Anyway, sometimes I can’t really follow dear August, except at a great distance; at least when he complains I have some idea what he means.

Also, like many people who complain you get the sense that he was extraordinarily sensitive by many standards; I went into the city to see a show and then came home and touched my girlfriend of fifteen years! Pagan, fornicator, reveler! Has God ever seen such sacrilege before! (People seem to think, Give me chastity, but not yet, means, I should go to an AA meeting, but I don’t want to, whereas it was more like, I’m thinking about becoming a monk, but it’s a big decision.)

Although I did like the part bewailing the stolen pears, the idea being that it was the very baseness of the motive, crime for crime’s sake, which made it so unworthy.

…. And I never thought about how countercultural it is to rejoice over the penitent, rather than those not in need.

…. It would be so easy to make fun of August.

Psychoanalyst: So, what is your social life like.
Bishop Augustine: Well, my mom died a few years ago…. That was pretty much the end of my social life.
Psychoanalyst: I see. Very interesting, if I do say so myself, very interesting.

Lol forever, but no hate bro, no hate.

…. Especially since that’s what I fully expect for when I get older….

Ah, what a good book. What should I do now. I know. I’ll call my mom. Wait, she’s not picking up. Oh that’s right. She’s dead. She was old, now she’s dead and I don’t have any friends anymore. Well, time for another book. Ooo, this one’s called, On Memory….

…. The narrative and the philosophical parts of the book are sufficiently different that I choose to end my comments here. Maybe if I read a different edition I’ll comment on the other part of the book.
  goosecap | Jul 26, 2021 |
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» Add other authors (126 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Saint Augustineprimary authorall editionscalculated
Baaren, Th.P. vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Barrois, Georges A.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Blumbergs, IlmārsIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Boulding, MariaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bourke, Vernon J.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chadwick, HenryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Charpentier, ...Forewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dillon, DianeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dillon, LeoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dolç, MiquelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fuller, David OtisEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gardiner, Harold C.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gemme, Francis R.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gibb, JohnEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hansone, LauraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Helms, Hal M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hudleston, RogerEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Labriolle, Pierre deTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lelen, J. M.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Matthew, TobieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mayes, BernardNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Montgomery, WilliamEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Neer, Joost vansecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
O'Donnell, James J.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
O'Donnell, James J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
O'Donnell, James J.Commentarysecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Outler, Albert CookTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pilkington, J. G.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pine-Coffin, R. S.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pusey, Edward B.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rītups, ArnisAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rodríguez de Santidrián, PedroForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rodríguez de Santidrián, PedroTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rotelle, John E.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ryan, John KennethTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Shedd, William G. T.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sheed, F. J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vessey, MarkEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Warner, RexTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Watts, WilliamTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Wijdeveld, GerardTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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An allegorical interpretation of the first chapter of Genesis (Book XIII)
dedicated to parentibus meis
First words
You are great, O Lord, and greatly to be praised: great is your power and to your wisdom there is no limit.
You are great, O Lord, and very worthy of praise; mighty is your power and your wisdom is immeasurable.
'Vast are you, Lord, and vast should be your praise' - 'vast what you do; what you know beyond assaying.'
Great art Thou, O Lord, and greatly to be praised;  great is Thy power, and of Thy wisdom there is no number.   [tr. F. J. Sheed]
It became clear to me that things which are subject to corruption must be good, for if they were perfect, or not good at all, they could not be corrupted.
Corruption is an agent of harm but if it is not taking away from what is good, it is causing no harm.
Who remembers the sins of my infancy? ... What were my sins? Did I bawl too loudly for the breast?
As an adolescent I had prayed ... "Give me chastity and give me control over myself, BUT NOT YET".
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One of the most influential religious books in the Christian tradition recalls crucial events in the author's life: his mid-4th-century origins in rural Algeria; the rise to a lavish lifestyle at the imperial court in Milan; his struggle with sexual desires; eventual renunciation of secular ambitions and marriage; and recovery of his Catholic faith.

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Penguin Australia

3 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 014044114X, 0143039512, 0143105701

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