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Confessions of St. Augustine

By: Saint Augustine of Hippo

Confessions is an autobiographical work by Saint Augustine of Hippo, consisting of 13 books written in Latin between AD 397 and 400. The work outlines Saint Augustine's sinful youth and his conversion to Christianity. Modern English translations of it are sometimes published under the title The Confessions of Saint Augustine in order to distinguish the book from other books with similar titles. Its original title was Confessions in Thirteen Books, and it was composed to be read out loud with each book being a complete unit.

The work is not a complete autobiography, as it was written during Saint Augustine's early 40s and he lived long afterwards, producing another important work, The City of God. Nonetheless, it does provide an unbroken record of his development of thought and is the most complete record of any single person from the 4th and 5th centuries. It is a significant theological work, featuring spiritual meditations and insights.

 

In the work, Augustine writes about how he regrets having led a sinful and immoral life. He discusses his regrets for following the Manichaean religion and believing in astrology. He writes about his friend Nebridius's role in helping to persuade him that astrology was not only incorrect but evil, and Saint Ambrose's role in his conversion to Christianity. The first nine books are autobiographical and the last four are commentary and significantly more philosophical. He shows intense sorrow for his sexual sins and writes on the importance of sexual morality. The books were written as prayers to God, thus the title, based on the Psalms of David; and it begins with "For Thou hast made us for Thyself and our hearts are restless till they rest in Thee." The work is thought to be divisible into books which symbolize various aspects of the Trinity and trinitarian belief.

 

Book Details

Language

English

Original Language

Latin

Published In

397- 400 CE

Author

Augustine of Hippo also known as Saint Augustine, was a theologian, philosopher, and the bishop of Hippo Regius in Numidia, Roman North Africa. His writings influenced the development of Western philo...

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