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Penguin Classics / 1979 / Paperback
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When Saint Augustine wrote his Confessions he was facing, and responding to, a growing spread of asceticism in the Roman world. His task was twofold: to explain to himself the significance of his conversion to Christianity, and to do so in terms that would convince his readers that this was indeed the one, true faith. In his attempt to achieve these aims, Saint Augustine produced a masterpiece of intellectual biography. The Confessions are written with an emotional intensity that sets him apart from the academic tradition to which he belonged, and it is this intensity, combined with ferociously self-honest analysis, that has given his work its last appeal. Beautifully written and suffused with philosophical and theological learning, the Confessions are an outstanding account of the search for truth by a sinner who became a great saint.
As a youth … I had prayed to you for chastity and said "Give me chastity and continence, but not yet"
The son of a pagan father and a Christian mother, Saint Augustine spent his early years torn between conflicting faiths and worldviews. His Confessions, written when he was in his forties, recount how, slowly and painfully, he came to turn away from his youthful ideas and licentious lifestyle, to become instead a staunch advocate of Christianity and one of its most influential thinkers. A remarkably honest and revealing spiritual autobiography, the Confessions also address fundamental issues of Christian doctrine, and many of the prayers and meditations it includes are still an integral part of the practice of Christianity today.
In his introduction R. S. Pine-Coffin discusses Saint Augustines intentions in writing his Confessions and issues of translation. This edition also includes a list of dates of events recorded in the Confessions.
Saint Augustine was born on November 13th, A.D. 354, in Tagaste (modern Souk Ahras, Algeria), and died almost seventy-six years later in Hippo Regius(modern Annaba) on the Mediterranean coast sixty miles away. In the years between, he devoted himself to the mastery of the texts of scripture, becoming a formidable theologian.
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