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The Confessions of St. Augustine

by Saint Augustine

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
18,040134189 (3.92)438
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 438 mentions

English (112)  Catalan (7)  Spanish (4)  French (3)  Portuguese (Brazil) (2)  Italian (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (2)  Dutch (1)  All languages (133)
Showing 1-5 of 112 (next | show all)
Logistics: I mainly listened to the free podcast audiobook, and made highlights in the free kindle copy. The kindle version is in much older English and doesn't have chapter divisions, only book divisions, so it'll be a little harder to gather the ideas later, but that's fine.

Overview: this goes back and forth between technical and experiential, but always worshipful, which was nice. He was a very normal guy! Struggling with secular education, lust, ethics in his job, personal guilt, theatrical entertainment, semi-Christians, and big questions. There was also a lot of extreme confession, convicted of delighting in any of the senses instead of delighting in God. If you read nothing else, read book 8. It was awesome, and that's where his personal salvation testimony is. ( )
  christian.c.briggs | Apr 15, 2021 |
In a sense, he is quite ordinary, struggling with lust, assurance of salvation, temptations to find comfort apart from Christ. In other ways, he is exceptional, and has much to offer our generation, warning us to avoid theatrical amusements, as well as "contain yourselves from the ungoverned wildness of pride, the sluggish voluptuousness of luxury, and the false name of knowledge...the delight of lust, and the poison of curiosity..." What! Is curiosity a sin? He says it's a disease, calls it the "lust of the eyes," and says it's even worse than the lust of the flesh, because at least the lust of the flesh confines itself to pleasant things, whereas curiosity will indulge in anything just to try something new:

"But by this may more evidently be discerned, wherein pleasure and wherein curiosity is the object of the senses; for pleasure seeketh objects beautiful, melodious, fragrant, savoury, soft; but curiosity, for trial's sake, the contrary as well, not for the sake of suffering annoyance, but out of the lust of making trial and knowing them. For what pleasure hath it, to see in a mangled carcase what will make you shudder? and yet if it be lying near, they flock thither, to be made sad, and to turn pale. Even in sleep they are afraid to see it. As if when awake, any one forced them to see it, or any report of its beauty drew them thither! Thus also in the other senses, which it were long to go through. From this disease of curiosity are all those strange sights exhibited in the theatre. Hence men go on to search out the hidden powers of nature (which is besides our end), which to know profits not, and wherein men desire nothing but to know. Hence also, if with that same end of perverted knowledge magical arts be enquired by. Hence also in religion itself, is God tempted, when signs and wonders are demanded of Him, not desired for any good end, but merely to make trial of." ( )
  christian.c.briggs | Apr 15, 2021 |
I am not a particularly pious person. But this is one of the most sincere and intimate pieces of work that I have read. And Augustine's thoughts are first-rate philosophy. I will read it again someday and hopefully I'll understand more. ( )
  Adrianmb | Mar 24, 2021 |
It feels silly assigning a rating at all to a book like this, one of the most important in the Western canon. Not easy to slog through, especially toward the end (the penultimate chapter is very opaque). I had already a beginning knowledge of Plotinus/Neoplatonism, and some of the philosophy that Augustine was working with when he was wrestling with the truth of Christianity, and I'm sure this aided in my comprehension, especially of the early sections, and I'd recommend that for anyone hoping to tackle this.

I'm glad I read this. Especially enlightening and interesting is his discussion of the 3 lusts in Book X. Other notable bits were the discussion of multiple wills (VIII), and the allegorical interpretation of Genesis 1 (XIII).

I read the Oxford edition, tras. Henry Chadwick, and the footnotes were often very helpful. ( )
  exhypothesi | Mar 7, 2021 |
I went to Church.
  stravinsky | Dec 28, 2020 |
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» Add other authors (122 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
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.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
O'Donnell, James J.Commentarysecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
O'Donnell, James J.Introductionsecondary 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
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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Epigraph
An allegorical interpretation of the first chapter of Genesis (Book XIII)
Dedication
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]
Quotations
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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