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Confessions

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3.92  ·  Rating details ·  56,950 ratings  ·  2,945 reviews
Augustine's Confessions is one of the most influential and most innovative works of Latin literature. Written in the author's early forties in the last years of the fourth century A.D. and during his first years as a bishop, they reflect on his life and on the activity of remembering and interpreting a life. Books I-IV are concerned with infancy and learning to talk, schoo ...more
Paperback, Oxford World's Classics, 341 pages
Published June 25th 1998 by Oxford University Press (first published 400)
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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 ·  56,950 ratings  ·  2,945 reviews


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K.D. Absolutely
Nov 03, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  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
...more
Farren
Jan 15, 2010 added it
Are you there God? It's me, St. Augustine. ...more
Darwin8u
This experience sufficiently illuminates the truth that free curiosity has greater power to stimulate learning than rigorous coercion.
- Augustine, Confessions

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Sublime and Original

I can’t believe it has taken me so long to read Augustine’s Confessions. I might not agree with some of his conclusions (my Christian framework, Mormon*, would be considered a heresy by Augustine), but his influence on Christianity, philosophy, and the West can’t be ignored. I read this book in little bits on Sunday duri
...more
Sarah McCoy Isaacs
Aug 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
Sean Wilson
"Day after day I postponed living in you, but I never put off the death which I died each day in myself. I longed for a life of happiness but I was frightened to approach it in its own domain; and yet, while I fled from it, I still searched for it."

Reading Augustine of Hippo's Confessions is like plunging into a deep, dark abyss and seeing a slither of light at the far side of the endless tunnel, unaware of whether you reach it or not; for Confessions is a proto-existentialist work of a man
...more
Werner
Mar 10, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Serious students of Christian theology and history
As a first-semester college freshman needing an elective, I signed up for a speed-reading class. I never adopted any of the techniques the course touted, although I got an A in it; but the classroom had a paperback rack with various donated books we could practice on, and this was one I read. It turned out to be the most lasting educational benefit of the class, and did make a genuine intellectual impression on me. (Other than Lightfoot's translation of the Apostolic Fathers, which I read a few ...more
Murtaza
Feb 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I suspect most people today would not imagine that they have much in common with a Christian saint who lived over 1500 years ago. Remarkably enough however if they read this book I think they'd find much to relate to, just as I did. The Confessions is the famous autobiography of St. Augustine of Hippo, a North African saint. It is in part his life story, but to me it is really his spiritual biography. It is in effect a long letter from himself directed towards God, explaining his path towards th ...more
India M. Clamp
Dec 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: divinity
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James
It was slow, it was dense, and it was militantly Christian. So why is that The Confessions is such an unavoidably fascinating work? Augustine appears here as a fully realized person, with all the good and the bad that that implies; it's as if the book was a conversation with God and a fly-on-the-wall was taking dictation. Since God obviously would have known Augustine's transgressions before they even occurred, Augustine thus has nothing to hide in this personal narrative, or at least makes it a ...more
Greg Garrett
Apr 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
James Henderson
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
Quirkyreader
Jun 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a newer translation that completely spoke to me.

What I especially enjoyed was that all the scripture that he referenced in his work was noted down. It took me a while to read this one because I read all of the Bible passages noted in the work.

I can see way this book has been such an inspiration for people over the years.

While reading this I was highlighting like crazy in my Bible app. Word of advice, if you read this edition and want to read all the passages, having a Bible app will m
...more
booklady
May 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Any Christian adult
I will be forever grateful that I did Professor Cook and Professor Herzman's Course, St. Augustine's Confessions on this classic work of antiquity, so misunderstood today. If you plan to read this book, do yourself a favor and take this course.

The most important thing Professor’s Cook and Herzman's Course taught me was something which I felt but could not articulate and that is St. Augustine’s Confessions, although often classified as an autobiography, is actually a PRAYER.

It is not a diary or
...more
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
Manny
Oct 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The first nine Books are brilliant, revolutionary, both as a confession and as theology. I wish Augustine had ended it there, and I wish someone could explain why he doesn’t end it there. But given I’m a slacker, I guess I don’t deserve an explanation. I’m sure it’s what I said before: “It probably all relates to the nature of humanity, the nature of God, the nature of His creation, and the nature of sin, all in the context of Augustine's early life and conversion. I just don't understand it...l ...more
Guy Austin
“Why then should I be concerned for human readers to hear my confessions? It is not they who are going to ‘heal my sicknesses’. The human race is inquisitive about other people’s lives, but negligent to correct their own.”

I was very excited to read this book; Confessions by St Augustine. Having been an inspiration to so many including John Calvin, Martin Luther and so many others. It is a memoir like few others. One of the first of its kind. In that fact alone my curiosity was peaked. To read of
...more
Brian Eshleman
Feb 03, 2021 rated it really liked it
The Bible says Elijah was a man like us but that his prayer was miraculously effectual. Confessions is a great way to make the same reconnection with the church fathers and saints who came before us but after the time of the biblical canon.

Augustine is candid. He faced the same temptations and rode the same relations we do. He is an honest narrator of his own vicissitudes, and thereby his attestation to the faithfulness of Christ is all the more meaningful.

Clearly, he deserves five stars, but my
...more
Jill
I can’t really rate this one but it was certainly interesting... not my favorite though.
Jerome Peterson
Sep 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
"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
J. Sebastian
Confessions ~ Saint Augustine
In the opinion of some highly respected friends, Augustine’s Confessions is the greatest book ever written, though it is difficult to see how the book could have come to be without the Bible standing before it. Nor could Augustine have been the same A1, the protagonist of the biography, or A2, the author of The Confessions whom we have come to know, without Cicero’s Hortensius or Vergil’s Aeneid, books that were influential in his life, books which in turn, could not
...more
Shyam
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Entrust to the Truth all that you have from the Truth, and you shall lose nothing. The parts of you that are withered shall bloom again, and all your illnesses shall be healed. (4.11.16)

Seek what you seek, but it is not where you seek it. You seek a life of blessedness in the land of death; it is not there. How can there be a blessed life in a place where there is not even life itself? (4.12.18)

As for those who think there is another life, they are chasing after another joy, and not the true
...more
Paul Haspel
Confession, it is said, is good for the soul; and the Confessions of Saint Augustine of Hippo are good for any person’s soul, regardless of his or her religious or philosophical beliefs. There is something profoundly compelling in the rigorous, uncompromising manner in which Augustine describes the way he consciously, by an ongoing act of will, worked to bring his magnificent intellect into conformity with the dictates of Christianity – and gave God all the credit for the outcome.

Some scholars h
...more
Amy
When high school Amy complained about the lack of devotions available to her, I wish someone had given her this book. I wish someone had told her to challenge herself and not be afraid. 'Cause let's be real, even at 25 I felt intimidated and pretentious picking up a book by a church father. Imagine 15-year-old me doing it.
I say that wish because I want to encourage 15 year olds to read this book. And 25 year olds. And 85 year olds. Augustine is not as scary as he sounds. Confessions is an incre
...more
Barnaby Thieme
Augustine's Confessions is a literary masterpiece of world-historical importance, to be sure. There is hardly a subsequent European Christian author for whom his work did not loom as the very paradigm of how doctrine is to be approached, and how it is to illuminate one's individual life and reflection. It forms the acme of moral inventory and autobiographical reflection, and contributes mightily to the European concept of interiority and subjectivity which, in Charles Taylor's sense, provides on ...more
Genni
Jan 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: religion, re-read
What can I say about The Confessions that has not already been said? Not much. So I will just mention my slightly unusual reason for reading it.

I recently read the only Latin novel to survive in it's entirety from antiquty, The Golden Ass, translated by P. G. Walsh. In the introduction, Walsh made this statement, "On two occasions Augustine associates him (Apuleius) specifically with the town; it must have been during his brief studies there that he first gained acquaintance with Apuleius' philo
...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
Silvia Cachia
I started to read Agustin Confessions in July. It took me six months to read it, and I'm glad I took it slowly.

I won't try to give a complete analysis of the book, or get into deep theological questions. My purpose is to give a simple review of how the book related to me as a christian and reader.

First I'd like to comment on the translation of the book. I read it in Spanish, translated from the Latin into Spanish. I had tried to read this book in English, but the translation was older, and thoug
...more
Justin Evans
Jun 02, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
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 expect any modern 'you are
...more
Sean
Oct 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Barnabas Piper
Apr 13, 2013 rated it liked it
The good portions were transcendent. The other portions ranged from dragging to dry. There are selections I will refer back to regularly and other portions that are entirely forgettable (to me). I can see, however, why so many people feel it is a seminal, classic work.
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Aurelius Augustinus Hipponensis, in English 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 C ...more

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