Saint Augustine wasn't always a saint. He led a turbulent and licentious youth, and belonged to the fourth century equivalent of a street gang. At the age of 29, he met a young man, Ambrose, whose intelligence, kindness and strong faith fascinated and puzzled Augustine. Then at the age of thirty-two, under Ambrose's tutelage, Augustine converted to Christianity and went on to be one of the most influential Christians throughout history.
Written in 400 AD, less than a decade after his ordination to the priesthood, a mere four years after becoming bishop of Hippo, he wrote Confessions in his forties. He was a man looking back and looking forward, an apt simile perhaps for the role Augustine played in the history of the Church, that of a bridge between two distinct eras.
Confessions traces a pilgrimage of unbounded grace, passionately wrestling with the spiritual questions that have engaged thoughtful minds since time began. It is Augustine's utter candor about his own sin and his struggle to reconcile his mind and soul to God's holy character that made Confessions the classic that it has been for fifteen centuries and compelling to readers still today.Companion volume to HP's trade paper edition of Augustine's City of God Classic text, edited by Albert Cook Outler Larger, easy-to-read edition Competitively priced "It is difficult to find a theologian - from any age - who has not been influenced by the teachings of St. Augustine."
Richard Foster, Devotional Classics.
This classic work, The Confessions, was translated into several languages and played an important role in the spreading of the ideals of Eastern and Western Christianity.
According to his contemporary, Jerome, Augustine “established anew the ancient Faith.” In his early years he was heavily influenced by Manichaeism and afterward by the Neo-Platonism of Plotinus.
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From the Trade Paperback edition.
This classic work, The City of God, was translated into several languages and played an important role in the spreading of the ideals of Eastern and Western Christianity.
Sarah Ruden’s fresh, dynamic translation of Confessions brings us closer to Augustine’s intent than any previous version. It puts a glaring spotlight on the life of one individual to show how all lives have meaning that is universal and eternal.
In this intensely personal narrative, Augustine tells the story of his sinful youth and his conversion to Christianity. He describes his ascent from a humble farm in North Africa to a prestigious post in the Roman Imperial capital of Milan, his struggle against his own overpowering sexuality, his renunciation of secular ambition and marriage, and the recovery of the faith his mother had taught him during his earliest years. Augustine’s concerns are often strikingly contemporary, and the confessional mode he invented can be seen everywhere in writing today.
Grounded in her command of Latin as it was written and spoken in the ancient world, Sarah Ruden’s translation is a bold departure from its predecessors—and the most historically accurate translation ever. Stylistically beautiful, with no concessions made to suit later theology and ritual, Ruden’s rendition will give readers a startling and illuminating new perspective on one of the central texts of Christianity.
Praise for Confessions
“[Ruden] has clearly thought deeply about what Augustine was trying to say. . . . There is a deep and understated grace in these passages, and . . . [Ruden] shows us how to do what modern scholars too often don’t or can’t: delight in their perfection.”—The Wall Street Journal
“Delightfully readable . . . In this lively translation filled with vivid, personal prose, Ruden introduces readers to a saint whom many will realize they only thought they knew. . . . Approaching her subject with deep religious and historical knowledge, [Ruden] chooses to translate Augustine as a performative, engaging storyteller rather than a systematic theologian.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Ruden’s translation makes Augustine’s ancient text accessible to a new generation of readers with a real taste of the original Latin.”—Library Journal
“[Ruden’s] record as a translator of ancient texts . . . clearly establishes her considerable talent.”—Christianity Today