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This Cambridge Companion serves as an authoritative guide to Augustine's Confessions - a literary classic and one of the most important theological/philosophical works of Late Antiquity. Bringing together new essays by leading scholars, the volume first examines the composition of the text, including its structure, genre, and intended audience. Subsequent essays explore a range of themes and concepts, such as God, creation, sin, grace, happiness, and interiority, among others. The final section of the Companion deals with its historical relevance. It provides sample essays on the reception history of the Confessions. These essays demonstrate how each generation reads the Confessions in light of current questions and circumstances, and how the text continues to remain relevant and raise new questions.
Augustine in Context assesses the various contexts - historical, literary, cultural, spiritual - in which Augustine lived and worked. The essays, written by an international team of scholars especially for this volume, provide the background against which Augustine's treatises should be read and interpreted. They are organized according to a rationale which moves from an introduction to the person (the so-called 'personal context') to the contexts of Augustine's works and ideas, starting from the intellectual setting and extending to the socio-political realm. Collectively the essays highlight the embeddedness of Augustine in the world of late antiquity and the interdependence of his discourse with contemporary forms of social life. They shed new light on one of the most important figures of the western canon and facilitate a more enlightened reading of his writings.