The son of a pagan father and a Christian mother, Saint Augustine spent his early years torn between conflicting faiths and world views. His CONFESSIONS, written when he was in his forties, recount how, slowly and painfully, he came to...
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The son of a pagan father and a Christian mother, Saint Augustine spent his early years torn between conflicting faiths and world views. His CONFESSIONS, written when he was in his forties, recount how, slowly and painfully, he came to turn away from his youthful ideas and licentious lifestyle, to become instead a staunch advocate of Christianity and one of its most influential thinkers. A remarkably honest and revealing spiritual autobiography, the CONFESSIONS also address fundamental issues of Christian doctrine, and many of the prayers and meditations it includes are still an integral part of the part of the practice of Christianity today.
In his introduction R S Pine-Coffin discusses Saint Augustine's intentions in writings his CONFESSIONS and the issues of translation. His edition also includes a list of dates of events recorded in the CONFESSIONS.
One of the most influential religious books in the Christian tradition recalls crucial events in the author's life: his mid-4th-century origins in rural Algeria; the rise to a lavish lifestyle at the imperial court in Milan; his struggle with sexual desires; eventual renunciation of secular ambitions and marriage; and recovery of his Catholic faith.
Saint Augustine was born to a Catholic mother and a pagan father on November 13, 354, at Tagasta, near Algiers. He studied Latin literature and later taught rhetoric in Rome and Milan. He originally joined the Manicheans, a religious sect, but grew unhappy with some of their philosophies. He soon turned to Christianity and was baptized in 386. One of Augustine's major goals was a single, unified church. He was ordained a priest in 391 and appointed Bishop of Hippo, in Roman Africa, in 396, His writings and arguments with other sects include the Donatists and the Pelagians. On the Trinity, The City of God, and On Nature and Grace are some of his important writings. Confessions, which is considered his masterpiece, is an autobiographical work that recounts his restless youth and details the spiritual experiences that led him to Christianity. Many of Augustine's ideas, such as those concerning sin and predestination, became integral to the doctrines of the Church. Augustine died on August 28, 430AD.