Read Confissões by Augustine of Hippo Arnaldo do Espírito Santo, João Beato e Maria Cristina Pimentel Manuel Freitas Online


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, schooAugustine'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, schooldays, sexual desire and adolescent rebellion, intense friendships and intellectual exploration. Augustine evolves and analyses his past with all the resources of the reading which shaped his mind: Virgil and Cicero, Neoplatonism and the Bible. This volume, which aims to be usable by students who are new to Augustine, alerts readers to the verbal echoes and allusions of Augustine's brilliant and varied Latin, and explains his theological and philosophical questioning of what God is and what it is to be human. The edition is intended for use by students and scholars of Latin literature, theology and Church history....

Title : Confissões
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9789722713269
Format Type : e-Book
Number of Pages : 780 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Confissões Reviews

  • K.D. Absolutely
    2019-02-09 09:48

    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 reading The Holy Bible needs the Holy Spirit to come to you so that it will be the spirit who will whisper the words to your ears so that you will understand the word of God. Maybe the spirit is still contemplating whether a sinner like me is worth his time and effort. Until I came to this memoir. Written by a self-confessed sinner who is now considered one of the most important figures in the development of Western Christianity: Saint Augustine (latin word for church father)of Hippo (354-430)It took me more than 4 weeks to finish this book. Not a straight read. It is impossible to do that. The memoir is like a letter of St. Augustine to God and in the letter, he is conversing and confessing. He pours out his thoughts, his doubts, his questions. Some of those are funny (based on what we all know now with the advances in science and technology). He tells Him his weaknesses, what wrongs he has done to others. His sins in thoughts, in words, in actions.Reading it is like uttering a prayer. Read a page or two and you get that feeling that you have achieve your daily quota of prayers. St. Augustine poured his heart out in each page of his memoir. Something that is inspiring for me to ask myself those questions he threw out to God and reflect on those thoughts that he put on the pages.There are so many quotes that I would like to capture here but if I do that, I think I will be quoting half of the book. Most of them are in long and winding sentences but this first paragraph of Book 11 is my favorite: Is it possible, lord, that, since you are in eternity, you are ignorant of what I am saying to you? Or, do you see in time an event at the time it occurs? If not, then why am I recounting such a tale of things to you? Certainly not in order to acquiant you with them through me; but, instead, that through them I may stir up my own love and the love of my readers toward you, so that all may say, "Great is the lord and greatly to be praised." I have said this before and will say it again. For love of your love I do it. So also we pray - and yet truth tells us, "Your father knows want things you need before you ask him." Consequently, we lay bare our feelings before you, so that, through our confessing to you our plight and your mercies towards us, you may go on to free us altogether, as you have already begun; and so that we may cease to be wretched in ourselves and blessed in you - since you have called us to be poor in spirit, meek, mourners, hungering and athirst for righteousness, merciful and pure in heart."Now, I have to give The Holy Bible another try. I could not have finished this whole book and pointed that beautiful part if there was no Holy Spirit upon me. Oh ye of little faith.

  • Sarah
    2019-02-10 04:52

    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 wondering aloud, in a sense, about more neo-platonic and loftier, metaphysical questions he is asking of God and thinking aloud/reasoning as best he can with his brilliant mind on paper; recognizing that that mind is a gift from God and he is to steward it. It gets hairy. It gets *hard* to stick with. If you can, and you do, you will find yourself perhaps having some of the same reactions I did: a)I always wondered the same thing!, or b)I am not even smart enough to have even thought to have wondered thator possibly evenc)I have no idea what he's even talking about anymore. Had I not taken a course solely on The Confessions, when I had to read De Trinitate in a later theology class I most likely would have had a crisis of faith and quit. Because I was used to his style of writing and knew who the Manichees were, what the background was and the Neo-Platonic, socio-historical setting Augustine was situated in, I could confront De Trinitate and later, "for fun," I was brazen enough to take on The City of God. There was nothing Augustine didn't talk about or no issue he didn't confront as Bishop when he was alive, because he was a very prolific writer. He spent his time not in fancy robes as one may imagine, but answering questions of the people - he was an ad hoc theologian. We are still reaping the benefits of that today, for his answers were good ones and are still relevant. Before he became bishop, though, he lived the life he spells out on the pages of the Confessions, which are not tales of endless days skipping carelessly along smooth paths by any stretch of the imagination. He reveals facets of himself not very becoming of a bishop; facets that are human. He was the first to admit to having such personality traits and publish a book about it and turn it back into praise to God when it was previously just material for gossip. Remaining human all the while, he points steadfastly to God, which is why this book is so crucial to know intimately. He speaks of heartbreak and loss in a way that you want to turn to it when you go through it (I did). He speaks of those who will naysay you when you have changed, speaking of who you were and not who you are, and you will again want to turn to his words. It is invaluable.

  • Farren
    2019-02-16 07:41

    Are you there God? It's me, St. Augustine.

  • Mahdi Lotfi
    2019-02-15 02:35

    اورلیوس آگوستین در ۱۳ نوامبر سال ۳۵۴م در تاگاست، ناحیه‌ی رومی نومیدیا ـ الجزایر کنونی ـ متولد شد و در ۲۸ اوت ۴۳۰م، در هیپون ـ که به دست واندال‌ها اشغال شده بود ـ دیده از جهان فروبست. مفروض است که خانواده‌ی او ریشه‌ی بربر داشته‌اند. پدرش پاتریسیوس بی‌ایمان بود و مادرش مونیکا، مسیحی‌ای معتقد. پدر، به رغم بی‌ایمانی، بر تفوق مهر مادری واقف بود و لاجرم هرگز در شیوه‌ی تربیتی مادر نسبت به فرزند، چون‌وچرا روا نداشت. از آن‌جا که پاتریسیوس ملاّکی خرده‌پا بود، بی آن که از تمکّن و تموّل آن‌چنانی برخوردار باشد، کمابیش از پسِ معیشت خانواده و تأمین هزینه‌ی تحصیل فرزند برمی‌آمد.آگوستین پسری هوش‌مند بود. از این رو او را به قصد تحصیل به مادورا، شهر مجاور تاگاست رهسپار کردند و با آن که در آن‌جا به تفریح، تفنن، و بازیگوشی روی آورد، از درس خواندن غافل نشد و فقط پس از اندکی وقفه، تدارک تحصیل متوسطه‌ی وی در کارتاژ دیده شد و همان‌جا بود که به رسم آن روزگار، فن بلاغت آموخت. سپس از طریق مطالعه‌ی مقولات عشر ارسطو، در جدل چیره‌دست شد. در ۱۹ سالگی هورتنیوس اثر سیسرون را مطالعه کرد و از این رهگذر، لهیب حکمت در جانش زبانه کشید. کتاب مقدس را نیز در همین سن برای اوّلین بار مطالعه کرد. امّا گرفتار مقایسه‌ی ترجمه‌ی نارسای کتاب مقدس به زبان لاتین با متون فاخری چون هورتنیوس و اِنه‌اید شد. گفتنی است این امر که خود از معضلات جامعه‌ی مسیحی آن روزگار به شمار می‌رفت، فرزانگان را به صرافت تنقیح و پیرایش نسخه‌ی موجود انداخت؛ هرچند که این تلاش، همچون هر گام تازه‌ای، دشواری‌هایی در پی داشت. در پی یافتن تفسیری کامل از هستی، از جمله درک مقولات خیر و شر و حل معضل قادر مطلق و ره یافتن به مبدأ از طریق ادله‌ی ساده، به مسلک مانی روی آورد. چه، به زعم خود در آیین ترسایان، دلایل عقلانی کم‌تر می‌یافت و مانویان نیز به او در حل معضلات فکری‌اش قول مساعد می‌دادند. آنان ابتدا بر مبانی فکری مسیحی خرده می‌گرفتند و سپس داعیه‌ی دلیل و برهان سر می‌دادند.با این‌همه، فقدان حجت وحیانی و عینی در دین مانی، اسباب تکدر خاطر آگوستین را فراهم آورد و موجب طرح مجادلات فراوانی از جانب وی به طرفیت مانویان شد. همچنین از طریق مطالعه در علوم طبیعی، افسانه‌پردازی‌های ایشان در باب مه و خورشید و فلک را به چالش کشید. از رهگذر مراوده با مانویان بود که به مسند ایراد خطابه در میلان دست یازید؛ شهری که مرکز ایتالیایی امپراتوری روم بود و آمبروسیوس در مسند اسقفی این شهر جلوس کرده بود. آگوستین پس از آن که در جانب وی مورد استقبال واقع شد، مدتی به استماع وعظ‌های او پرداخت و در عین حالی که مجذوب فن بیان او شده بود، به قدرت شگرف آمبروسیوس در تبیین و توضیح عهد عتیق پی برد.آمبروسیوس کتاب مقدس را از طریق تأویل بازخوانی می‌کرد و آموزه‌های افلاطون و فلوطین را در اامه‌ی ادله‌ی خویش به کار می‌بست و بدین‌ترتیب آگوستین به سرچشمه‌ای از معانی نوینِ حقیقت ازلی دست یافت. در همین زمان بود که زیبایی‌های کتاب مقدس را به مکاشفه نشست و به ظرافت، تفاوت خدای صانع افلاطونیان با خدای خالق مسیحیان را فهم کرد. سه سال بعد به همراه دوستش آلیپیوس و فرزند نامشروعش آدئوداتوس، مهیای تعمید شد. در همین سال مادرش مونیکا، هنگامی که از دست دغدغه‌ی خاطر برای ایمان آگوستین خلاصی می‌یابد، چشم از دنیا فرومی‌بندد.سفر آگوستین به میلان، پنج سال به طول انجامید و سپس به آفریقا بازگشت؛ جایی که خاطره‌ی مانویت او هنوز از حافظه‌ی جمعی آن زدوده نشده بود. لذا برای اثبات گسست خود از گذشته‌اش، باید وقت بسیاری را صرف ارائه‌ی مباحث ناب در جهت باورهای نوینش می‌کرد. وی بیش از سیزده رساله در رد آرای مانویان به رشته‌ی تحریر درآورد. گذشته از این‌ها، دو کتاب از میان آثار او، در زمره‌ی کتب مانای تاریخند؛ نخست اعترافات که در سال ۴۰۰م، یعنی در سال ۴۶ سالگی وی نوشته شده است و ناظر بر شرح زندگی و احوال اوست. و دوم، شهر خدا، که در واقع متشکل از دو بخش است: بخش عمده و غالب آن در دفاع از مسیحیت و رد اتهاماتی که توسط غیر مسیحیان رومی بر آیین مسیحیان وارد می‌آمد نوشته شده و مابقی، در بر گیرنده‌ی پاره‌ای دیدگاه‌های اجتماعی ـ سیاسی آگوستین است.کتاب حاضر، یعنی اعترافات، از نثری خودبسنده برخوردار است؛ نثری که سرشار از اندیشه‌ها وخاطره‌های شخصی و خانوادگی است و در ضمن واگویی و واکاوی آن خاطرات، عالی‌ترین افکار انتزاعی فلسفی و کلامی را در میان می‌گذارد؛ چنان‌که امروزه نیز اندیشه‌هایش درباره‌ی مباحثی مانند حافظه، زمان، و زبان، قابل تأمل است. در عین حال، کشش و جاذبه‌ی متن که از تجربه‌ای وجودی برمی‌خیزد، حتّی می‌تواند سرآغازی باشد برای افراد علاقه‌مند، امّا غیر متخصص در حوزه‌ی الهیات وجودی. چرا که پرده‌برداری از خفایای زندگی یک انسان کمال‌طلب، خود به منزله‌ی ارائه‌ی نمونه‌ای است برای کسانی که به حقیقت عشق می‌ورزند و سودای تبلیغ آن را در سر دارند.

  • Sean Wilson
    2019-02-03 07:54

    "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 attempting to achieve inner perfection in a world of material greed and spiritual emptiness. Sound familiar? Because these themes are universal and timeless in the eternal consciousness of man.Augustine of Hippo is no stranger to this recurring trait of our species, and in the first part of the poetic masterpiece, he bears his fragile soul to all who dare to truly enlighten themselves. This book was his attempt at addressing the painful sins of his aesthetically dangerous past, and trying to rid of them through tortured prayers to God."But the time had now come when I stood naked before my own eyes, while my conscience upbraided me."It is obvious right from the start that Augustine refuses to give the reader an easy going reading experience. For a religious text, it is heart wrenching at times and, while offering a continually fresh perspective on Christianity and philosophy, he retains a strong hold on the reader as he deconstructs his flawed nature, for his suffering was also his redemption, his enlightenment, his forgiveness. One feels his morally destructive pain in each emotional page; for how can a man attempting to achieve inner perfection and a connection with God live with sorrowful reflections of sleeping with prostitutes—even living with one? He tears himself apart passionately describing a scene from his childhood when he stole some fruit, not out of desperation, but simply because it was wrong. "It is in my own mind, then, that I measure time. I must not allow my mind to insist that time is something objective. I must not let it thwart me because of all the different notions and impressions that are lodged in it."These confessions continue well after his memoir. In part two, he confesses his theological and philosophical beliefs with extended theoretical examinations on the nature of man, the mind, the senses, time, Creation and its relation to God. Augustine delves deep into the mind, in an attempt to understand what gave Moses and Christ such inherently profound knowledge. His dissections into the memory of the rational mind is examined extensively and, upon reflection, his agonizing search for the Truth still provides acute psychological penetration into the human soul over 1,500 years on. His experiments still explain some deep truths in the vast network of human thought. Ironically, however, there was an everlastingly warm presence throughout the book, for Augustine is not only talking to God, he is also talking to us, the reader. Part memoir, part philosophical and theological investigation into the nature of existence, Augustine of Hippo's Confessions is an honest and beautiful work of non-fiction, where the unexplained might not be explained, but the door is opened slightly more to the Truth.That sleep may wearied limbs restore,And fit for toil and use once more...Saint Ambrose

  • James
    2019-01-23 06:57

    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 appear that way. The prose of this translation must be incredibly different from its Latin source, but it's obvious that Augustine has a force of personality that appears through his work that few writer have matched in the centuries that have followed this original Western autobiography. The power and beauty of his writing was no doubt aided by his devotion not only to The Bible, but to Cicero, Plato, and especially Virgil. It's also an incomparably fascinating window into the culture of the time: the Manicheans, Astrologers, Christians, and Pagans are all interesting studies through the eyes of this saint. His contributions to philosophy in this text cannot be ignored even today. Bertrand Russell (not exactly a churchgoer) admired his work on time, and it's still an enlightening experience to read these thoughts. And of course the story of spiritual awakening is an inspiring and beautiful one, a story that is not altogether dissimilar to that of the Buddha centuries before Augustine. Although, especially at the start, it can be slow and cold reading, The Confessions more than justifies its position as one of the most important books ever written.

  • Jill
    2019-01-31 06:59

    I can’t really rate this one but it was certainly interesting... not my favorite though.

  • Camille Stein
    2019-02-12 04:37

    Vittore Carpaccio | ¿Qué es, pues, el tiempo? ¿Quién podrá explicar esto fácil y brevemente? ¿Quién podrá comprenderlo con el pensamiento, para hablar luego de él? Y, sin embargo, ¿qué cosa más familiar y conocida mentamos en nuestras conversaciones que el tiempo? Y cuando hablamos de él, sabemos sin duda qué es, como sabemos o entendemos lo que es cuando lo oímos pronunciar a otro. ¿Qué es, pues, el tiempo? Si nadie me lo pregunta, lo sé; pero si quiero explicárselo al que me lo pregunta, no lo sé. Lo que sí digo sin vacilación es que sé que si nada pasase no habría tiempo pasado; y si nada sucediese, no habría tiempo futuro; y si nada existiese, no habría tiempo presente. Pero aquellos dos tiempos, pretérito y futuro, ¿cómo pueden ser, si el pretérito ya no es él y el futuro todavía no es? Y en cuanto al presente, si fuese siempre presente y no pasase a ser pretérito, ya no sería tiempo, sino eternidad. Si, pues, el presente, para ser tiempo es necesario que pase a ser pretérito, ¿cómo decimos que existe éste, cuya causa o razón de ser está en dejar de ser, de tal modo que no podemos decir con verdad que existe el tiempo sino en cuanto tiende a no ser?Confesiones - Libro XI

  • James
    2019-02-23 10:32

    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 alive across the centuries. From the carnality of his youth to the moment in the Milanese Garden when a spiritual epiphany changes his perspective forever, the story is an earnest and sincere exposition of his personal growth. You do not have to be a Catholic or even a believer to appreciate the impact of events in the life of the young Augustine. His relations with his mother, Monica, are among those that still have impact on the modern reader. The additional philosophical musings, such as his discussion of the nature of time, make this even more compelling to those who appreciate philosophical contemplation. Psychology, philosophy and spirituality combine to make this one of the "Great" books that remind you that true insight into the human condition transcends time and place.

  • Guy Austin
    2019-02-16 03:30

    “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 a life from so long ago pulled me. It is so much more than that. It is indeed a confession. I laying out of all his early life filled with doubt and various ideas of the age he grew up in. It is also a great study of philosophy and theology. The result of this work laid out much of the thought of the reformation leading to the protestant faith. It is broken in to thirteen books. Starting with a pouring out of his self and leading us through his earliest memories growing up in North Africa in the 300’s. His relationship with his parents and particularly to his mother’s faith as an early Christian is a big part of his growth. His sins and reflective disgust with his youthful dalliances are not white washed. Including his wanting of woman’s company in his bed. “How stupid man is to be unable to restrain feelings in suffering the human lot! That was my state at that time. So I boiled with anger, sighed, wept, and was at my wits’ end. I found no calmness, no capacity for deliberation. I carried my lacerated and bloody soul when it was unwilling to be carried by me. I found no place where I could put it down. There was no rest in pleasant groves, nor in games or songs, nor in sweet-scented places, nor in exquisite feasts, nor in the pleasures of the bedroom and bed, nor, finally, in books and poetry.”The first half of the book is more or less a memory of his early life into his late 20’s and early 30’s. His relationships with woman and birth of his son out of wedlock, his friends, mentors, and his mother Monica leading to his conversion. The second part of the book get more into philosophical discussions. His discussion on time is both interesting and honestly confusing to me. I found many of his discussions long and winding roads that lead us to his understanding of time. It was at times difficult to follow yet fascinating. His argument for the existence of God who is good and how evil can exist simultaneously is here and all of it is written beautifully. The entire novel is readable and enjoyable regardless if you are a believer or not. There is much here to mine. It is a novel that could be read several times and probably should be to fully grasp all that is in it. I have no doubt most would read and be startled to know how relatable it is to our own individual doubts on the existence of God. The fact that this Saint could have many of the same doubts in his life as me gave me pause. As he lays out many streams of thought I caught myself wondering why I had not thought of that myself. And then there were times I read his thoughts and was lost and found myself rereading parts to try to grasp it all. The entire confession is eye opening and revealing that we are all human. The titles of Bishop and Saint matter not. We all struggle with the same issues. “Give me chastity and continence, but not just yet”I gave it 4 stars only because I enjoyed the first part far more than the second. I struggled with many of the concepts but the writing was beautiful. However I think many would read the second half or the last three of four books and enjoy these pieces more than I. There is much in here to enjoy and think about.

  • Greg Garrett
    2019-02-10 09:59

    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 helped me understand my own yearning for something bigger than myself, and why placing myself front and center had always been disastrous, and always would be. Augustine has made me a wiser person, surely--I understand God, people, politics, art, and beauty better thanks to him--but he's also made me a better writer and critic, and this is the best place to make his acquaintance (and for some, to finish. Augustine was trained as a classical orator, and he is not an easy read, even in a good translation like this).

  • Nelson Zagalo
    2019-02-18 04:53

    Poderia chamar-se A Conversão, porque mais do que confessar os seus pecados, ainda que o faça, Agostinho traça a história da sua própria personagem, em jeito de autobiografia, dando conta do lugar comum de onde veio, igual ao de tantos outros, pejado dos mesmos dilemas, dos mesmos pecados, a partir do qual conseguiu, por meio de uma escolha profundamente refletida e munida de vontade, transformar-se, libertar-se, para chegar a Deus.“Assim, meu Deus, a confissão que faço em tua presença, é e não é silenciosa; a boca se cala, mas meu coração clama. Tudo o que digo aos homens de verdadeiro já tinhas ouvido de mim, e nem ouves nada de mim que antes não me tivesses dito.”Mas “Confissões” não é apenas mais uma autobiografia, nem tão pouco se tornou relevante por ser uma, ou mesmo a primeira autobiografia da nossa história escrita, o seu valor reside antes no impacto, no lastro produzido ao longo de séculos e séculos. “Confissões” é central na caracterização de toda a sociedade ocidental, embrenhada nos valores do cristianismo, e mesmo para quem deles se tenha afastado, tem de com eles conviver todos os dias, já que eles são a raiz e os pilares da nossa moral. São 16 séculos de permanência na cultura formativa de uma sociedade, num discurso direto de grande proximidade interior, completamente distinto daquilo que se encontra na Bíblia, que faz com que a mensagem passe, não apenas de modo fácil, mas de modo efetivo."Confissões" foi escrito entre 397 e 400Agostinho, mestre da retórica, começa por se apresentar como apenas mais um ser humano, comum, vulgar, cheio de defeitos, tal como todos nós, e ao longo de 13 livros conduz-nos, pela mão, até à possível “salvação”. O seu discurso carregado de honestidade e humildade, intenso na análise psicológica que faz de si, da mente humana, torna-se próximo, empático, impossibilitando a nossa fuga. Agostinho mantém-nos atrelados a si, lendo-o, sentindo-o, mas sentindo-nos a nós mesmos. Não é de transcendência, nem de invisível, ou forças inimagináveis que se fala aqui, mas apenas de humanidade, de questionar o nosso eu, o que somos, porque somos, como somos, questões que todos nós, cedo ou tarde, nos colocamos. Fala do desejo, da perda, da busca, dissecando em profundidade o modo como se vai concebendo aquilo que somos, ou que parecemos ser.Uma dos dilemas centrais desta confissão assenta no sexo, o “pecado original”, que para alguns soa exagerado, ou até obsessivo. Senti também isso no primeiro confronto, mas aos poucos fui compreendendo a sua centralidade na construção do caminho, tendo-se tornado mais claro quando li a análise de Mark Lilla ao livro de Robin Lane Fox “Augustine: Conversions to Confessions” (2015), um livro que disseca em profundidade as Confissões e todo o seu contexto. Lilla critica Lane, por se ter centrado ele próprio no sexo, chegando ao ponto de afirmar que a conversão de S. Agostinho “não foi uma conversão à fé cristão… mas antes uma fuga ao sexo e à ambição”. Lilla explica então:“não é desta forma que Agostinho conta a sua história. O problema do sexo é apenas uma concha à volta de um mistério mais profundo, o funcionamento da vontade humana. É um assunto ao qual Agostinho retornou uma e outra vez nos seus sermões e livros. A mente comanda o corpo, mas não pode comandar a si mesma. Por que não podemos desejar o nosso desejo? Ou, muitas vezes decidimos fazer alguma coisa, mas a vontade é mais fraca para seguir adiante. Como, se a vontade é uma coisa, é que isso pode ser possível? Para explicar estes enigmas, Agostinho teve uma ideia que moldaria a consciência ocidental durante séculos: a noção de que os seres humanos têm duas vontades em si, uma desafiante que quer autonomia e uma disciplinada que quer servir a Deus. A única maneira de alcançar a felicidade, Agostinho acreditava, era subordinar a primeira à segunda." (fonte)Ou seja, a consciência boa e a consciência má, o certinho e o diabinho. Algo que se veio a converter mais tarde numa dualidade entre mente e corpo, pela mão de Descartes. A mente pura, a única capaz de chegar à verdade, e o corpo, resquício de nós, tal concha impeditiva de aceder à verdade, que por meio dos seus sentidos biológicos distorce o real. Algo que Platão já concebia, na sua oposição entre representação e real, e que perdura até aos nossos dias. Mesmo hoje, depois de amplamente demonstrado, o quão orgânicos somos, da ausência e impossibilidade de qualquer dualidade, o modelo abstracto dessa dualidade, satisfaz as nossas ânsias sobre os porquês das nossas dúvidas. Porque aquilo que somos não é uno, não é igual todos os dias, nem em todos os lugares, nem com todas as pessoas, e quando nos questionamos porquê, fica mais fácil ter um bode expiatório, de preferência algo que possamos dizer, com satisfação, que não podemos controlar, seja o desejo, a carne, ou a emoção.“Vi tua Igreja cheia de fiéis que, por um caminho ou por outro, progrediam. Quanto a mim, aborrecia-me a vida que levava no mundo, e era para mim fardo pesadíssimo, agora que os apetites mundanos, como a esperança de honras e riquezas, já não me animavam para suportar tão pesada servidão. Essas paixões haviam perdido para mim o encanto, diante de tua doçura e da beleza de tua casa, que já amava. Mas sentia-me ainda fortemente amarrado à mulher. Sem dúvida o Apóstolo não me proibia de casar, embora em seu ardente desejo de ver todos os homens semelhantes a ele, exortasse a um estado mais elevado. Mas eu, ainda muito fraco, escolhia a condição mais fácil; por isso, vivia hesitando em tudo o mais, e me desgastava com preocupações enervantes, pois a vida conjugal, a que me julgava destinado e obrigado, ter-me-ia obrigado a novas incumbências, que eu não queria suportar.”Sendo uma boa leitura, não deixa de apresentar problemas, muitos até, não apenas no seu conteúdo, tendo em conta a data em que foi escrito e o grau de assertividade, próprio à retórica, que Agostinho imprime ao discurso, mas também em parte pelo método, ou talvez ausência deste, na busca do interior. Não tínhamos ainda método científico, nem tão pouco aqui serviria muito, mas tinhamos Sócrates, e Agostinho conhecia o seu trabalho, por isso métodos de argumentação existiam, não é um problema de ter de se começar do zero. O maior problema de Agostinho surge na circularidade reducionista do seu discurso, que ao embrenhar-se na busca e definição de um conceito, se centra neste apenas, analisando todas as perspectivas que nele desembocam, esquecendo contudo tudo o que dele impacta o contexto circundante. O modo como tenta definir o tempo e a memória, nos últimos livros são totalmente demonstrativos deste processo de aprofundamento, em que objetivamente Agostinho se afasta, ou impede outros elementos de serem chamados à argumentação, mantendo a mesma fechada sobre si, em círculo, tornando impossível emergir qualquer ideia nova. Muito provavelmente porque imbuído do mesmo método que definiu na sua busca por Deus, no seu questionamento sobre a sua possibilidade, e na impossibilidade de chegar a qualquer evidência, foi construindo e desenhando um sistema de argumentação, que funciona na base da amplificação da abstração conceptual, ou seja, na construção de camada sobre camada de ideias, sem suporte, na ânsia de que elas acabem por se suportar umas às outras.“Então veria que a sucessão dos tempos não é feita senão de uma seqüência infindável de instantes, que não podem ser simultâneos; que, pelo contrário, na eternidade, nada é sucessivo, tudo é presente, enquanto o tempo não pode ser de todo presente. Veria que todo o passado é repelido pelo futuro, que todo futuro segue o passado, que tanto o passado como o futuro tiram seu ser e seu curso daquele que é sempre presente. Quem poderá deter a inteligência do homem para que pare e veja como a eternidade imóvel, que não é futura nem passada, determina o futuro e o passado?”Não conheço a obra de Agostinho, para além deste livro, mas li algures que este trabalho não terá sido tão espontâneo como se quer apresentar. Que este terá sido um trabalho escrito não para se encontrar a si próprio, mas antes para conduzir os seus leitores à conversão. Não tenho qualquer dado que suporte esta teoria, que pode não passar de mera conspiração, contudo tendo ou não sido assim, o mais relevante está no texto que temos na nossa frente que demonstra uma mestria profunda da retórica, do uso da narração, do storytelling, para envolver e persuadir. Todo o livro se apresenta como uma jornada — em três atos, com introdução, desenvolvimento e conclusão — em que se parte da ignorância da dúvida de si; para se entrar num novo reino, o do conflito existencial; para o qual se encontra no final uma resposta, a conversão, capaz de fechar todas as pontas, libertando-nos do peso da inconsciência, garantindo a total satisfação do leitor da narrativa.“No princípio criou Deus o céu e a terra. A terra era invisível e informe, e as trevas se estendiam sobre o abismo.” Ouço estas palavras, meu Deus, e não encontrando menção do dia em que criaste essas coisas, concluo dessa omissão que se trata do céu do céu, do céu intelectual, onde a inteligência conhece simultaneamente e não por partes; não por enigma, ou como um espelho, mas por inteiro, em plena luz, face a face; conhece não ora isto, ora aquilo, mas, como disse, simultaneamente, sem a sequência temporal. Concluo também que se trata da terra invisível, informe, estranha às vicissitudes do tempo, que ora causam isto, ora aquilo, pois onde não há forma não pode haver isto ou aquilo.”Ler completo, com imagens e links em:

  • Jerome Peterson
    2019-02-03 02:42

    "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 style was unique to me for he included and addressed God as one of his readers not as a truth seeker, such as myself, but as The Almighty. The content itself is woven with scripture in such a way that it drew me in instead of losing me or making me feel like a wretch. The author covers his sinful youth and years of his adult life; pursuit for truth; his faithful mother; his pagan father; even a friend that was addicted to attending gladiatorial shows! He also covers subjects such as invisible nature, memory, and time. Saint Augustine lived A.D. 354-430 and was one of the outstanding figures of the declining Roman Empire. He was a prolific writer of books, letters, and sermons. I highly recommend this book; especially to anyone who is seeking truth and answers about the seen and unseen world around them as well as self-evident mysteries such as memory and time.

  • حسين إسماعيل
    2019-02-02 09:50

    أهملت الفصلين الأخيرين لأنه بدأ يغوص في أعماق بعض العقائد المسيحية، ولكوني غير ملم بالجدل الذي كان يدور حولها فلم أستفد من الخمسين صفحة التي قرأتها منها.الكتاب كنز عظيم وإثراء لأي قارئ، وترجمة إبراهيم الغربي (عن اللاتينية) بليغة ومميزة جدا. يؤرخ أغسطينس في اعترفاته حياته حتى ما بعد الأربعين بقليل، وهو المولود لأب وثني وأم مسيحية كاثوليكية، ويروي بوصف مطول كيف تغلب على شهواته حين كان شابا حتى الوقت الذي صار مسيحيا فيه، ثم تحول لوصف اطمئنان ذاته للإيمان ومن ثم مناقشة عقيدته بمقاربة فلسفية.هنا أغسطينس الشاب المتذبذب بين نزواته وما يسمعه من الوثنيين والمانويين، وهنا أغسطينس المتسائل الذي لا يهدأ له بال حتى يجد ما يشفي غليله. في الكتب العشرة التي قرأتها حاول أغسطينس الإحاطة بنشأته والبيئة التي ترعرع فيها والتي أثرت على أفكاره. لا يحاول أغسطينس إخفاء أي شيء، ويذكر مرارا بما معناه أن الإله لا تخفى عليه خافية ولذا فهو لا يخجل منه، وإنما يكتب اعترافاته هذه للأجيال القادمة ولكي تستنير بما مر به.

  • Katie
    2019-01-31 03:45

    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 making the resolution. I was on the point of making it, but I did not succeed. Yet I did not fall back into my old state. I stood on the brink of resolution, waiting to take a fresh breath…And the closer I came to the moment whichw as to mark the great change in me, the more I shrank from it in horror. But it did not drive me back or turn me from my purpose: it merely left me hanging in suspense.”It’s a distinctly theological feeling for Augsustine, but I also think it’s just generally a human one, and that’s what makes this book such a joy to read. Augustine is also just a lovely writer, and he’s honest and inquisitive about himself, his God, and his world. It’s one of the most accessible ways to get a look at the worldview of an early medieval Christian.There are also two sections on memory and time (books 10 and 11) that are just loads of fun.

  • Emily
    2019-02-12 07:54

    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 the title page, they let you know "this extract first published in Penguin Books 2004," and as the text commences they mark each omission with a [...:] symbol. There are MANY such symbols. My full edition of the Confessions is 305 pages of dense, close-set text; the Great Ideas edition is only 114 smaller, wider-set pages. Based on that and on my remembered reading of the whole thing in my senior seminar in college, I think it's a safe bet that about two-thirds of the entire text has been removed, if not more. Which is a huge percentage. Frankly, even with their omissions clearly marked throughout the text, I think it's disingenuous of Penguin to market this book as St. Augustine's Confessions of a Sinner (a very similar title to the more standard Confessions), rather than as something like "Selections from the Confessions." People should know what they're getting before the book arrives in the mail, and what they're getting in this case is a MUCH different experience than they'll have if they read the full document.Take the famous pear-stealing scene. In both versions, Augustine relates that one night in his adolescence, he and a band of other teenagers stole some pears from a neighborhood tree - not because they wanted or needed the pears, but just for the joy of stealing. In the original text, he then goes on to angst about the theological implications of the pear theft for six densely-packed pages. Got it? He's seriously tortured about the pears. HOW COULD HE HAVE TAKEN THE PEARS? In the abridged version, this angsting is cut to barely one small, medium-spaced page, giving the impression that he's merely remarking, reasonably enough, at the perversity of a humanity that commits a crime solely for the wicked joy of sinning, and that he's then moving on to other subjects. I bring up the pears not because I have some burning desire to read about them in their entirety yet again. I may not quite agree with Richard, who claims that his definition of hell is having to read the pear-stealing scene one more time, but I've certainly had my fill of it. No, my point in mentioning this passage is that it's one example of how the Penguin abridgment distorts Augustine's character. It makes him out to be a pious, reasonable man, a bit overwrought perhaps, but able to write clearly and concisely about his spiritual journey and eventual conversion to Catholicism. Whereas in fact Augustine is not reasonable AT ALL, and he's certainly not concise. In fact, I think two big points of his narrative are that the spiritual realm evades reason, and that to portray his journey as less than the long, brutal struggle he found it would be to minimize something that he wants, on the contrary, to emphasize.The struggle with reason, for example, is at the forefront of young Augustine's grappling with the church doctrines. He writes about finding many of these doctrines nonsensical, since for a long time he tries to interpret them literally. Only when Bishop Ambrose explains them to him figuratively can he grasp their value. (And there are pages and pages in which he tries to get a handle on "figurative" - all excised from the abridgment.) Likewise he is only able to make real progress toward conversion when he relinquishes his need to prove and understand things:Then, O Lord, you laid your most gentle, most merciful finger on my heart and set my thoughts in order, for I began to realize that I believed countless things which I had never seen or which had taken place when I was not there to see - so many events in the history of the world, so many facts about places and towns which I had never seen, and so much that I believed on the word of friends or doctors or various other people. Unless we took these things on trust, we should accomplish absolutely nothing in this life. Most of all it came home to me how firm and unshakable was the faith which told me who my parents were, because I could never have known this unless I believed what I was told.When Augustine's conversion finally does come, it is a completely non-rational process, described in language more akin to physical ecstasy than reasoned argument. In terms of the curated Great Ideas series, I think this is an important point: Augustine breaks with the Stoic tradition of rationality and constrained emotion represented by Seneca and Marcus Aurelius. His emotions run rampant all over the Confessions, and he depicts his relationship with God in language modern readers will recognize from the subsequent literature of erotically-charged romance:For love of your love I shall retrace my wicked ways. The memory is bitter, but it will help me to savour your sweetness, the sweetness that does not deceive but brings real joy and never fails. For love of your love I shall retrieve myself from the havoc of disruption which tore me to pieces when I turned away from you, whom alone I should have sought, and lost myself instead on many a different quest.Removing the angst from Augustine is kind of like removing the cabbage from coleslaw. And while the Penguin folks don't manage to get all of it, their abridged Augustine is a much different fellow than the full-force version available elsewhere - too bad, since I think he's theoretically a great choice to illustrate the transition from Stoic rationalism to early Christian mysticism. Similarly, the structure of the complete Confessions is an excellent (if excruciating) example of form reflecting content. The story Augustine wants to tell is one of a disgustingly sinful young man, who knows in his soul that he should convert to the true church, but lacks the decisiveness and strength of character to do so. He struggles over this for nine years, almost converting several times and then losing courage at the last moment. Finally, he is driven to distraction and has an epiphanic moment, wherein the chains of his self-imposed slavery fall away and he is born again in God. From that day on, he is a completely different man: he never looks back or regresses; he is cleansed of all sinful urges and dedicates himself completely to the work of the Church. (The completeness of Augustine's conversion experience rings very false to me, and it's something we discussed a lot in my seminar. Apparently Augustine set the standard for conversion narratives for many years: early church members didn't want to acknowledge that spiritual life might still be a struggle after conversion. According to my professor, it wasn't until the writings of Teresa of Avila in the sixteenth century that Christian leaders started telling conversion stories in which the converted person still struggled with sin and doubt even AFTER adult baptism.)In any case, the structure of the Confessions reflects this story beautifully; it's one of the things I most appreciate about the original document. Augustine's pre-conversion struggles go on for such a painfully long time that the reader, unable to stand any more, joins him in his desperation to make some kind of change. After the conversion happens, Augustine's voice becomes almost completely disembodied: whereas previously he had been writing a story about himself and his actions, his post-epiphanic text is straight theology, with little or no narrative at all. This reflects the heightened, unchanging realm in which his post-conversion existence is supposed to be happening. And while it makes the second half pretty darned boring to a religious agnostic like myself, I still think it's highly effective: the reader can literally see and feel the difference in the person Augustine was versus the person (or saint) he becomes. In the abridged version, we get neither the excruciatingly long lead-up to the conversion, nor as much of the change in mood after baptism. Which I think is a shame. On the plus side, and rather predictably, the abridged version is much more readable than the original. It flows briskly along, like a fourth-century version of some snappy modern memoir. Had it been published as "Selections from the Confessions," it could have served a valuable role as a quick-and-dirty introduction to the more famous and influential passages from Augustine - and it can still serve that function, albeit not as easily given that people ordering it won't know what they're getting.Am I still in love with the Great Ideas series? I have to admit that this discovery gives me pause. I've found that offers their "Look Inside" feature on most of the volumes in the series, so I've done a little research about how many are affected. (The second page of this preview, for example, reassures me that Virginia Woolf's A Room of One's Own is presented whole. I could never have forgiven them for altering a single word.) And while most of the remainder of Series One is uncut, the vast majority of Series Two are extracts. This can mean, I think, a couple of things: in many cases, it just means that certain essays were taken from Penguin's "Complete Essays" edition of the author's work. That kind of excerpting doesn't bother me at all, as long as each essay remains complete. But a few editions are, like Augustine, out-and-out abridged, which really rubs me the wrong way. It's one thing if I would never seek out the author on my own: realistically, I'm never going to read the entire Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, so I don't really mind getting a taste of it here and there. But a few of the abridged volumes are things I'm actually interested in reading independently of the Great Ideas series: Christine de Pizan's The Book of the City of Ladies, Marco Polo's Travels, and Hannah Arendt's Eichmann in Jerusalem are the three that leap to mind. I don't think I want to experience those in abridged form, but neither do I want to give up on the curated experience that is the Great Ideas series. Even among the three volumes I've finished, there has been such an interesting dialog that I'm still convinced reading these series in order will be a rewarding exercise. So...I think what I'll do is to keep ordering them in sets of four, but when I reach an abridged one that I'm independently interested in, I'll find a complete version to substitute for the expurgated one. It kind of hurts me to give up the idea of the full eighty-volume set with all its pretty matching covers, but I think it would bother me even more to wonder what I was missing all the time. Alternatively, if I'm feeling flush it might be interesting to buy both editions and see which parts the Great Ideas people wanted to stress and which they thought could be done away with. The next in the series, Thomas à Kempis's The Inner Life, is another expurgated title: an extract from The Imitation of Christ. But I get the impression that the cuts are nowhere near as radical as in the Confessions. Anyhow, we'll see how I enjoy the jump of almost a thousand years into medieval Germanic Christianity!

  • Tijana
    2019-01-28 05:49

    Prvo, Avgustin je veliki mislilac, beskrajno uticajan teolog, prefinjen psiholog i sjajan stilista. Drugo, Avgustin je zli smarač.Zli. Smarač.Koliko god da su ispovedni delovi Ispovesti - po slobodnoj proceni oko polovine - fenomenalan uvid u spor i mučan proces preobraćanja i psihologiju ne-tako-ranog hrišćanina, toliko umeju i da zaškripe u sukobu sa modernim senzibilitetom: manje kad npr. piše o svom odnosu sa dugogodišnjom ljubavnicom, sa kojom je imao i dete, a više u trenucima poput onog kad uz veliko kajanje priznaje kako je zgrešio tako što je plakao kad mu je majka umrla, ili kad na više strana raspravlja o tome da li je prihvatljivo da se verske himne pevaju na prijatne melodije, ili je to preveliki ustupak grešnom zadovoljstvu u čulnim uživanjima.Dakle, Ispovesti su sjajno štivo ako vas zanima istorija teologije, istorija ideja, uvid u duševna stanja manihejca koji prelazi u (vr-lo neoplatoničarsko) hrišćanstvo, rane rasprave o prirodi vremena i pamćenja - ali istovremeno su izbezumljujuće na onom čisto ljudskom nivou, kao kad krenete da škrgućete zubima i pominjete svetom Pavlu sve po spisku zbog njegovog pogubnog uticaja na hrišćanski svetonazor.

  • Gwen Burrow
    2019-02-09 05:53

    Feels rather like reading the Psalms. That should tell you it's good.

  • Silvia Cachia
    2019-02-09 08:31

    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 though possibly very beautiful, it was more difficult to me. The translation then worked, and the first books inside the book, the ones that dealt with his life as a sinner, up to his conversion, were on the overall easy to follow. I enjoyed his candor, and I related to many of his conversations and prayers to our Lord, giving Him sovereignty, praising Him, and showing a contrite heart after unmasking his rebellious or prideful attitude in life.Agustin was a Gnostic and he proceeds to tell us about the false doctrines he held to, and how he learned about God's word, which led to his conversion. We come to an intimate part in the book where he talks about how his life changed, and that ends with the passing away of his mother. After, there comes the chapters that are epistemological (?) and theological too, where Agustin talks about our faculties, and how we learn and how we know about the world, and God. The last part that gives the book its title, consists of his confessions. This last part is devoted to explain how it is we sin with our different senses, and what it means to him the pride of life and the lust of the eyes.While I benefited much from Agustin honest thoughts, his life, and his exposition of what he understood to be the christian life, and a true christian attitude, something changed in me while reading the book. I read Surprised by Hope in the middle of reading The Confessions. In Surprised by Hope, the author explains and debunks Gnosticism, and that platonic dualism (flesh and soul) that most of us take for granted since it's come to be part of how we understand christianity. Respectfully, I'd like to end saying that while I totally exhort any and all to read this book, I know I don't hold all Agustin's beliefs as true. While I have no quarrels with talking about the mind, the soul, the flesh, or our intellect, our spiritual life, our bodily functions, etc. (classifying and making distinctions is always useful), ultimately I do disagree with Agustin's portrayal of the senses, and his take on the christian life, on what is sinful and what's noble. I believe that, having lived a very worldly life initially, he swung the pendulum to the opposite direction, resulting in a completely suspicious view of anything that relates to our senses. Again, I don't mean there's no conflict, (Paul tells us so), all I say it's that I see a big chasm, a Platonic view of the body that I don't share.The very disagreements make this book even more important. Reading The Confessions will help you understand the origin of much of what we nowadays hold in our common storage of what we understand by sin, flesh, soul, senses, and the spiritual life. And I cannot thank him enough for allowing me to meet him, for being so honest, and for inciting me to love the Lord, to make introspection, and to strive to be more humble and a better christian.

  • Michael
    2019-02-13 07:41

    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, eventually becoming a master of rhetoric, like his hero Cicero. Yet from his youth, he cherished sexual and other worldly pleasures while paradoxically aligning himself with the Manicheeism theology that condemned the Christian tenet of a human Christ for not being spiritual enough. His explorations of how he worked his way toward conversion represents an early advance in psychology. He covers well how his character was shaped by maternal nurturing, paternal discipline, peer relations, early loves, positive role models, and personal tragedies. His reflections on the relationship of sensory perception to knowledge, the relativity of perception and emotions, the prime role of memory to consciousness, and constructive capacity of language are refreshing precursors to current perspective. He tries to make sense of the issue of human free will vs. God being part of everything, but doesn't have a compelling solution to me. I enjoyed his musings on the nature of time, logically concluding past, present, and future are all meaningful only from a present perspective (with "now" ultimately infinitesimally short). His struggle to account for creation having a beginning with God existing outside time (and the meaning of the pre-creation "ithout form and void"version of matter) resembles to me the challenge for modern physics of what existed before the Big Bang. On the downside for a non-religious person reading this book today is that he obviously couldn't escape the worldview of dualism between matter/body and spirit/mind/soul. Yet he doesn't come to cast worldly experiences and pleasures as meaningless or evil or speak much of the devil or Hell. For him, the origin of evil lies in being out of God's light or in willful ignorance, not from a separate source. It's a shame that this worldly Christian thinker didn't evolve more to the mystical view of God really being in the world, following the example of Christ for the "Word made flesh".

  • Justin Evans
    2019-02-02 06:40

    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 a unique and special snowflake and your desires are good it's just that your parents/society/upbringing/schoolfriends/economic earning power have stunted you' self-help guff. It'd be nice to read someone more contemporary who's willing to admit that people do things wrong, all the time, and should feel really shitty for doing wrong things. Don't expect Aquinas. This is the hardest bit for me; if someone's going to talk about God I prefer that they be coldly logical about it. Augie goes more for the erotic allegory, self-abasement in the face of the overwhelming eternal kind of thing. No thanks. Finally, be aware that you'll need to think long and hard about what he says and why he says it when he does. Books I-IX are the ones you'll read as autobiography, and books X-XIII will seem like a slog. But it's all autobiography. Sadly for Augie, he doesn't make it easy for us to value the stuff he wants to convince us to value, which is the philosophy and theology of the later books. The structure, as far as I can tell, is to show us first how he got to believing that it was possible for him to even begin thinking about God (that's I-IX). X-XIII shows us how he goes about thinking about God, moving from the external world, to the human self in X and a bit of XI, to the whole of creation in XI and XII, to God himself in XIII. I have no idea if this is what he had in mind, but it roughly works out. That's all very intellectually stimulating, but it's still way more fun to read about his peccadilloes and everyday life in the fourth century.

  • Sean
    2019-02-01 04:31

    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 acceptance of the Christian values that he had learned from his mother. Early in his life, Augustine became interested in Manichee theosophy, but ultimately abandoned Manicheeism for the Neoplatonic mysticism of Plotinus. At the age of 32, after a vision in a Milanese garden, he renounced his secular life and devoted himself to Christianity.The story of Augustine's early life and search for a spiritual philosophy is interesting reading, though not a short story. The "Confessions" can be read as more than just a spiritual journey, but also as a cultural history of the Roman world of the late 4th century. Augustine's descriptions of his friends and family are very real and give a good picture of life at that time in Algeria and Italy.In the last four books of the "Confessions", Augustine moves from a description of his own personal history to a theological discussion of the Christian view of creation and the nature of time, among other topics. For someone not interested in theological hair-splitting, these books can get pretty tedious. As an example, Augustine spends many, many pages discussing exactly what God created when he made the "heavens and the earth" and which he created first. This is quite a bit less compelling to read than his earlier discussions of life in Milan.

  • Bülent Çallı
    2019-02-11 08:30

    Augustinus büyük bir düşünür. En büyük eseri İtiraflar, aslında onun özyaşam öyküsü. Kendine göre, Katolik inancına geçerek doğru yolu nasıl bulduğunu anlatıyor. Bir yandan da bu inancı bulana dek saptığı yanlış yollar için Tanrı'dan af diliyor. St. Augustinus 354 yılında dünyaya gelmiş. 650 sayfalık kitabın ilk yarısı, bu yıllardaki yaşamı ve insanları anlattığı için enteresan. Augustinus doğru yolu bulunca kitap da sıkıcı bir hal alıyor. Dini yorumlar, af dilemeler ve yakarışlar... Sadece sona doğru, "zaman" üzerine akıl yürüttüğü bölümler ilginç. İtiraflar, çok büyük bir başyapıt ama herkese göre bir eser değil. Ortaçağ felsefesi, patristik felsefe ve katolik inancı üzerine uzmanlaşmak isteyenler muhakkak okumalı, evet. Bunun dışında kalan felsefe meraklıları ya da öğrencileri için dahi öncesinde okunacak pek çok kitap var. Ben kitabı, uzmanlaşmak istediğim varoluşçu felsefenin ilk kıvılcımlarının görüldüğü bir eser olarak kabul edildiği için okudum. Bu konuda daha sonra yazacağım.

  • Banner
    2019-02-08 06:51

    The Confessions of St. Augustine: Modern English VersionJust finished the Modern English Version.First let me say that this is an amazing work that modern Christians would greatly benifit from reading.Regardless of your faith you will appreciate the insight into Augustine's worldview and logical mind.I enjoyed this version but will go back to Chadwick for the next read.

  • Zachary McIntire
    2019-01-31 02:40

    Having read the comments of a GR friend about the difficulty of reading the unabridged Confessions, I'm glad it was this excerpted version that I ended up with instead. (I inherited it from a friend who went abroad and couldn't take his books with him.) I have to say, even this edition was challenging at times: I had to reread a lot of paragraphs to unpack the author's meaning, and some of them were still so dense to me that I just gave up and moved on.Nevertheless, I'm very glad to have finally read at least a basic version of this Christian classic for myself. As others have been, I was impressed by Augustine's honesty and self-reflectiveness, especially his open admission where his understanding of God failed him. I love that the book is addressed to God, rather than to the readers, which makes the experience of reading it sort of like participating in a prayer. The way Augustine continuously glorifies God throughout his confessions is beautiful to me, and something I hope to incorporate more into my own prayer life.

  • Petruccio Hambasket IV
    2019-02-10 08:55

    Five stars isn't enough, but it's all I have.

  • Erik Graff
    2019-02-14 09:38

    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 given) even after his conversion; and, three, the extreme scrupulosity displayed otherwise and the sometimes (to us) peculiar emphases of the ancient moral sense. Augustine was, in modern parlance, very neurotic. Still, he is recognizably a whole person engaged in something approaching genuine self-examination.Contrary to some commentators, Augustine's Confessions are not the first western autobiography. About two hundred years earlier another North African, Lucius Apuleius Platonicus (aka Apuleius), wrote a semi-autobiographical religious memoir. Unlike Augustine who became a Christian bishop, his conversion was to become a priest of Isis, the Great Mother of another mystery cult. And while Augustine's work is primarily the description of the inner personal life leading to a metanoia, Apuleius' of the the outer, public life. While Augustine is dreadfully serious, Apuleius is very funny--until, in the end, he, like Augustine, gets caught up entirely in religion.

  • Jeff Miller
    2019-01-24 04:36

    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. Oddly for a narrator of St. Augustine the man was a priest who left the priesthood became an atheist and had same-sex attraction. Still he did an excellent job of narration.I managed to get this audiobook for basically $3.99, by buying the .99 Kindle ebook and then the Audible version for another $2.99. Thank you Amazon.

  • Barnaby Thieme
    2019-02-11 06:46

    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 one way of answering the question, what is the self? I would not myself take it as an exposition of timeless truth, but I think the author himself would not have it be taken thus, fifteen hundred years after it was set down. Rather, I will follow his own proposed model and allow that what was good for certain people in certain remote ages is not necessarily what is good for us. In my view, this book consists of three principle parts. The first is the autobiographical confession for which this book is principally known; the second is an allegorical interpretation of the beginning of Genesis influenced heavily by his reading of the Neoplatonists; the third is the mysterious conjunction of these two in a single work, which receives little explanation, and which, I think, is intended as a kind of koan, or an enigmatic and edifying puzzle, for the reader's contemplation. I will leave this last mystery to the reader's own imagination and take up the first two, briefly. The story of Augustine's life is well-known - his growth from a precocious, well-educated youth to a Manichaean, his brief foray into Neoplatonism, and his subsequent conversion to Christianity. This journey is presented by the author as a kind of morality tale in which he gradually learns what he needs to learn in order to accept right doctrine, and here his encounter with Neoplatonism was decisive. Although he is clear that its abstract idiom left his compelling existential and soteriological concerns unaddressed, it nevertheless provided him conceptually with the tools he needed to conceive of spiritual matters in abstract terms. An illustration of this paradigm may be seen in his analysis of Genesis. Here I must say that I fundamentally differ from Augustine's moral paradigm, which in my eyes is chiefly concerned with virtue, in the sense of coming to know what is the right thing to do, and doing that thing. My own moral idiom is fundamentally motivated by compassion and care for all beings. Take, for example, the famous story of the pear tree, which Augustine uses as a case study in the depravity of his youth, and the nature of sin in general. As a boy, Augustine conspired with other youths to despoil a neighbor's pear tree, having no need of its fruit, and indeed having their own store of better-quality pears, but they delighted in the act of transgression itself. Augustine unpacks this incident at some length and is disturbed by what he sees as the intrinsic compulsion for people to do wrong for its own sake, and to take a kind of delight in it. It is this "for its own sake" that characterizes his moral concern, while to me what is of even greater concern is the effect this act had on his neighbor, whose pears were robbed, and who may not have been able to easily bear their loss. But this does not occupy Augustine's reflection in the least - what matters to him is the intrinsic rightness or wrongness of the act itself. I take a certain anthropological and psychological interest in walking down this road with Augustine, but I do not agree that whether or not we've got it is the most important thing. I suppose this is a question of whether one follows the Christ of the beatitudes, and take the injunction to love one's neighbor as one's self as pre-eminent, or one follows the Christ of Paul, who takes the assertion of the right creed as redemptive and thus of cardinal importance. For myself, I would rather be wrong and do my neighbor right than the opposite. So I can only go so far along with Augustine in his agonized self-reflection, absorbed as it is with a question of right doctrine, and also convinced of the wickedness of man in a degree that in my mind debases the spiritual reality and potentiality of human life. I would not agree, for example, that a badly-behaved baby is acting sinfully, though for Augustine it is the manifest cruelty of infants that demonstrates the doctrine of original sin. For Augustine, behind every human error lies sin, and I do not see it that way. As a philosopher, I naturally found Augustine's allegorical reading of Genesis rather exciting, though it may leave some readers confused. I was particularly fascinated by his analysis of time, his demonstration that it cannot mean what we normally take it to mean, and his use of that argument to demonstrate that the priority of various acts in the sequence of creation as presented in Genesis cannot be taken to mean a literal, temporal priority, but rather a logical or ontological priority. For God, for whom all time is equally "now," the act of creation is always, and creation is always created and sustained by the act of creation, which seems to our senses to be the play of time. This is clearly one of the most important books in the late classical period, and of colossal importance for understanding the intellectual history of Latin Europe. Fortunately, it is highly readable and often engrossing.

  • Martina
    2019-02-11 05:42

    On my second reading, now less fascinated by Augustine's story as it unfolds, I became more aware on its deeper meaning, the continuity of the book's composition, the frankness and frailty of its author. It doesn't surprise me that this time it was actually harder to read the whole thing so fast, as each chapter brought solid food for thought.Augustine's is the story of a slow realization how one individual simply can't tame their will, their urges (however natural) and keep going without inevitably failing even though they decided firmly on their principles. To be human is always to be weak, in quite a special and non-degrading way. His faith then crystallizes into acceptance of this fact with full trust in God, whose infiniteness will make up for the human lacking. This leads into wonderful philosophical passages on time, memory and history, which are for me the highllight of the whole book, along with a wonderful part on the death of his mother, saint Monica. This episode foreshadows the beautiful reflections in the last parts of the book, as it was a memorably visceral encounter with eternity for Augustine. I find it beautiful to see how evident it is that she was such an important inspiration of his philosophy, not only because she was a strong female character in times when it seemed it was at odds with people's general worldview, but also because such wisdom and acute philosophical insight as Augustine's was not possible without the experience of deep true love. No man's an island, we grow through our encounters.So if you every visit my home and see Confessiones sitting on a prominent shelf in my library or anywhere near just within a reach, this is why.