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The Confessions of St. Augustine (Sacred Wisdom)
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The Confessions of St. Augustine (Sacred Wisdom)

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  22,346 ratings  ·  945 reviews
This translation is illustrated with miniatures and decoration taken from illuminated manuscripts of the "Confessions" in the medieval collection at the British Library. The book is organized round extracts chosen to best express St Augustine's philosophy and mystical love of God.
Hardcover, 96 pages
Published September 6th 2001 by Frances Lincoln Publishers (first published 397)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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K.D. Absolutely
Sep 25, 2010 K.D. Absolutely rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 501 Must Read Books (Memoirs)
Shelves: 501, religion
I never dreamed that one day I would finished reading a 300-page memoir written by a ancient Catholic saint. See, how many saints who lived during the first millennium have written himself a memoir?

I twice tried to read The Holy Bible (once in English and once in Tagalog) from cover to cover but failed. I just got distracted by too many details and hard-to-remember names and ancient places and I could not appreciate what were all those characters are doing. Excuses, excuses. They say that readin
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Sarah
Aug 21, 2009 Sarah rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Sarah by: Dr. Harmon
Shelves: theology
Chadwick's translation of Augustine's Confessions (note that this is a confession to God, while read by men) is one of the best. It is not costly in a monetary sense; new it is a mere 6.95. However, it is deceptively short. A chapter will take you two hours if you give it the attention it deserves. Augustine is a circular writer. He is not a bad writer - he was known to be a merciless editor, in fact. But he goes around and around, especially later on in the last chapters of the book when he is ...more
Farren
Are you there God? It's me, St. Augustine.
James
I have read this book several times, both as part of the Basic Program of Liberal Education at the University of Chicago and most recently as one of the monthly selections of a reading group in which I participate. Like all classics it bears rereading and yields new insights each time I read it. But it also is unchanging in ways that struck me when I first read it; for Augustine's Confessions seem almost modern in the telling with a psychological perspective that brings his emotional growth aliv ...more
Jerome Peterson
"Confessions" is the type of book with a heavy dynamic caliber that it should be read slow, thoughtfully, and with a highlighter. Saint Augustine doe not hold back in his shortcomings. He paints a black, very personal, wicked youth. He confesses all and bares his soul. The passages about his mother were extremely soulful revealing the man as an affectionate son. He writes with hopeful authority; yet in a humble voice and always in a way that I could relate with it in today's hectic pace. His sty ...more
Greg Garrett
I used to hate Augustine of Hippo. I found him too anxious, too focused on the sexual sins he was sure he was committing, and too sure about the fallen nature of human beings. The Confessions changed all that for me. It's like how when you meet someone you can't judge them in the same way any more; The Confessions helped me understand that Augustine--like everyone--was trying to understand his life, his place in the world, and his motivations for doing things. Most importantly, The Confessions h ...more
Emily
I hate to say it, but I have some bad news about the Penguin Great Ideas series with which I'm so smitten. I'm not sure if you'll find this as shocking as I did, but here it is: some of these books are excerpted. And I say "excerpted" only so as to avoid an uglier word: if pressed, I must admit that this edition of Augustine's Confessions is - I can barely stand to write it - ABRIDGED.

To Penguin's credit, they don't try to hide the abridgment, as some expurgators have done before them. Right on
...more
Michael
Written during the waning of the Roman Empire around 400AD, this account of the early life of a seminal theologian of the Catholic church is a personal perspective on what he regards as his sinful life leading up to his conversion. His writing is surprisingly accessible, almost modern in its approach to weighing the factors that contribute to growing up. His mother was a Christian, but he took a long time to come around. He excelled in school and hungered to elucidate abstract knowledge, eventua ...more
Gwen Burrow
Feels rather like reading the Psalms. That should tell you it's good.
Katie
St. Augustine’s Confessions is such a lovely and honest book. I’d recommend it to everyone, if people who aren’t remotely religious. It’s one of those works that really manages to encapsulate certain feelings and articulate them in ways that are clear but also sort of startling in their clarity, saying obvious things in ways you’d never quite thought of before.

Take this bit from Book 8: “In my heart I kept saying ‘Let it be now, let it be now!’ and merely by saying this I was on the point of ma
...more
Erik Graff
Jan 14, 2014 Erik Graff rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Recommended to Erik by: Cyril Richardson
Shelves: biography
I've read this book twice now, once in seminary in New York for myself and once in graduate school in Chicago for a class on Augustine taught by David Hassel, S.J. Eight years had intervened, so the rereading was not unpleasant.

Most of the books of the Confessions are surprisingly accessible. The jaring elements for most moderns would probably be, one, the lengthy excurses about theology in the later books; two, the callous disregard he displays towards the mother of his son (her name is never g
...more
Bryan
Feb 21, 2011 Bryan rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone interested in Christianity, spirituality, philosophy, and theology
Recommended to Bryan by: Mrs. King, my high school English teacher
I went into this book with wary expectations, but by the end of it was fully enthusiastic about Augustine's account of his conversion.

There were two things that always kept me from reading this book: the first was that I read only part of his quote "Lord, give me chastity, but not yet," when I was younger and so it didn't settle with me. I mistakenly thought that "The Confessions" were Augustine's attempts to confess a sin in order that he could keep doing it, and that seemed like a waste of tim
...more
J Frederick
The first half of the book is primarily autobiographical. St. Augustine writes about life as the tormented seeker. He moves from aesthetics to Manicheanism to Christianity, reckoning with questions as to what is the ultimate reality. Augustine eventually finds comfort in the Christian God of his mother Monica, a God that he previously felt was far too mythological, before having the scriptures explicated by St. Ambrose of Milan (This story should be familiar to anyone who has struggled against p ...more
Sean
In his "Confessions", Augustine tells the story of his early life and ultimate acceptance of a Christian life. Augustine was born in 354 on a farm in Algeria, the son of a Christian mother and a pagan father. He describes his early life, during which time he mastered Latin literature and became a teacher of literature and public speaking.

Augustine describes in detail his secular life, marriage of 15 years, as well as his personal spiritual journey from a life of earthly desires towards the accep
...more
Justin Evans
Considering that the style of Augie's work is completely and utterly impenetrable, this is actually a pretty decent read. Just come to it expecting circularity, meditation, rapturous theology and self-flagellation, and you'll come away impressed.
Don't expect anything linear, and you'll be all the more impressed when he ends up, every now and then, out-Aristotling Aristotle with arguments of the (x-->y)&(y-->z)&(z-->p)&(p-->q); ~x is absurd; therefore q variety.
Don't exp
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Julie Davis
I'm reading this for our Catholic women's book club ... it's the November selection so if I begin now I should finish on time.

I have tried reading this book twice before and always gotten bogged down in Augustine's complaints about being beaten by his tutor. This time I am going to just skim or skip those complaints in the interest of seeing what I DO like about the book rather than letting road bumps throw me off track.

It's kind of ironic that Augustine is one of my earliest saint "friends" wh
...more
Jeff Miller
Been over a decade since I last read this, but still it enraptures me. This time around I noticed just how much scripture was weaved into everything he said. Often he blends St. Paul into whatever he is talking about; especially in the later chapters after the main part of his conversion story.

Also this time I tried an audiobook version for my commute.

The narrator was Bernard Mayes whose voice matched the material. Kind of British professorial.

Didn't know who he was and looked up his Wiki entry.
...more
Ike
Gus,

Your confessions are laced with wonderfully eloquent words.

But...

sometimes your dualism (leftover from your Manichean days) makes your ideas hard to swallow.


Regards,

IB
Joshua Nomen-Mutatio
Something about a pear tree and "Catholic guilt".
Jared Henderson
Jan 23, 2013 Jared Henderson rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone and everyone
This is the most amazing book I have ever read. It, more than any other book has had a significant impact on my life. This autobiography chronicles the life and religious struggles of Augustine of Hippo from his childhood to his young adult days as a Gnostic, all the way to his final acceptance of Christianity as an older adult. The amazing thing about this books is the intelligent and articulate arguments Augustine conveys both in favor of and against different religious/philosophical ideologie ...more
booklady
Second reading 12-30 August 2004



I wish I could remember the first time I read Confessions but it was sometime back in the mid-90s and that is the closest I can narrow it down. If I had several hours to kill, I could go digging in my old book logs, and find the exact date. Since I don't have that kind of time at the moment, I'll just settle for the second time I read the book which was when I took a class in Spiritual Classics. It was the first book we read in the class and an excellent introduct
...more
Bet Roberts
I enjoyed this more than I was expecting to, and it really grew on me the more I read it. Augustine writes absolutely beautifully; there were often times where I would stop to re-read a sentence. His theology is compelling, and his exegesis of Genesis toward the end of the book is intelligent and a delight to read. He never seems like he's talking down to you, but it isn't hard to grasp either. His passion and devotion are moving and even inspiring. It's a book that will make you think, even if ...more
David Withun
Every time I start to get a little down on St. Augustine -- what with his invention of some pretty deplorable doctrines (ie original sin) -- I need to reread his Confessions. In fact, everybody should read his Confessions. It is an absolutely beautiful book! St. Augustine pours out his soul before God and all the world -- confessing his sins and telling the story of how he came to Christ, watching for the subtle movement of the Holy Spirit in all things and seeing God's guiding hand behind every ...more
Patrick Schlabs


An, obviously seminal book in Christian thought and theology. The first 9 books (chapters) walk through Augustine's searching to find rest and satisfaction in everything under the sun before coming to faith in Christ. The last 4 books unpack his philosophy and theology on memory, time, and Scripture (among other things). The first 9 books were very enjoyable, while a large portion of the last 4 were a bit of a chore to get through. Overall, a very valuable read for any Christian. Would probably
...more
Theron
Just now I came across this line from N.T. Wright, which prompted me to share my appreciation for Augustine's 'Confessions'. He says of the late C.C. Cranfield, "I think that was the first time I ever spontaneously knelt down and thanked God for an academic article."(1) Thank God Augustine's 'Confessions' are not an academic article! How could they be? Could you imagine? I've yet to come across an academic article like that (I do hope too), but I imagine many share my thanksgiving to God for Aug ...more
David Sarkies
Sep 06, 2014 David Sarkies rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Christians and classical historians
Recommended to David by: A Christian
Shelves: christian
The personal journey of a man searching for God
7 September 2014

Saint Augustine, at heart, is a theologian, and the problem I find with most theologians is that much of their work tends to be dry and academic, and Saint Augustine is no exception. However in his Confessions we encounter a completely different side, at least in the first nine books. Saint Augustine, one of the theological pillars of the Christian faith, opens up his heart, and his past, for all to see in what could be considered t
...more
Zelda
There is a reason why Augustine of Hippo is regarded as one of the most important thinkers of the Western Tradition and that reason is encapsulated in this book. If he had retired after writing his explanation of the nature of evil, his contribution to the advancement of reason would still be significant. But he does not retire after this exposition and the whole of the work continues to provoke the mind to examination and the inward turn.

I'm not a believer but I wish more believers would read
...more
Pierre E. Loignon
Voilà d’abord et avant tout le livre d’une âme chrétienne qui s’est enfin trouvée et qui revient sur son passé en l’évoquant devant son Dieu pour s’en repentir et Lui exposer sa reconnaissance.
Mais c’est également une œuvre sublime qui saura séduire aussi bien le chrétien, que le littéraire ou le philosophe.
Diamond Luster
This text is so dense that I haven't even finished it. I could read the first 7 pages over and over again. It is full of a man desperate for answers from a God he loves. My students could really benefit from learning St. Augustine's style of writing. He is deeply inquisitive, yet he doesn't necessarily reveal his answers. His thoughts about life and society are well organized, and shows a sophisticated pattern of thought, reflection, and closure. It is also important to note the social and relig ...more
Charles Lewis
I didn't read this version but have read at least two and to a non-scholar like myself they were very similar. I just wanted an excuse to read it again. For work 17 centuries old it felt so modern and immediate. It seems to me the template not only for autobiography but also the spiritual memoir. If you read Merton's Seven Storey Mountain or St. Teresa of Avila's autobiography you can see the thread. What is great about this book, especially for the seeker, is that Augustine was a sinner like th ...more
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  • On the Incarnation
  • Summa Theologica, 5 Vols
  • The Rule of Saint Benedict
  • Augustine of Hippo: A Biography
  • Institutes of the Christian Religion, 2 Vols
  • The Life of Saint Teresa of Ávila by Herself
  • Revelations of Divine Love
  • On Christian Liberty
  • The Cloud of Unknowing
  • The Major Works (World's Classics)
  • Catechism of the Catholic Church
  • The Consolation of Philosophy
  • Saint Thomas Aquinas
  • Dark Night of the Soul
  • Pensées
  • Ethics (Dietrich Bonhoeffer Works, Vol. 6)
  • The History of the Church: From Christ to Constantine
  • Fides Et Ratio: On the Relationship Between Faith and Reason: Encyclical Letter of John Paul II
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Augustine of Hippo, also known as St. Augustine, St. Austin, was bishop of Hippo Regius (present-day Annaba, Algeria). He was a Latin philosopher and theologian from the Africa Province of the Roman Empire and is generally considered as one of the greatest Christian thinkers of all times. His writings were very influential in the development of Western Christianity. According to his contemporary J ...more
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