When Augustine wrote his Confessions in the last years of the fourth century, he was just over forty and had abandoned a successful career for a life of prayer and study. He interpreted his past life as a search for God, in which understanding and commitment had been frustrated by wrong education, mistaken ambition, sexual desire and sinful nature. Some readers are inspired by his brilliance and devotion, others think he misread his own past. This book discusses the transformation of Augustine's own life and of the late Roman world, the structure, style and purpose of the Confessions, and the problems of rhetoric and truth posed by Augustine's account of himself. It concludes with a brief overview of the influence of this landmark text in the history of European culture.Read more
- Readable introduction to one of the key texts in European culture
- Distinctive in that it takes a literary-critical approach rather than a theological one
- Deals with historical and philosophical context, stylistic and psychological perspectives, and the text's influence through the ages
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- Date Published: September 1993
- format: Hardback
- isbn: 9780521401043
- length: 122 pages
- dimensions: 205 x 132 x 14 mm
- weight: 0.208kg
- contains: 1 table
- availability: Unavailable - out of print December 1996
Table of Contents
Part I. Augustine's World:
1. Africa: world politics
2. Thagaste: family, church and school
3. Carthage: rhetoric and religion
4. Africa to Italy: Manichees and pagans
5. Milan: worldly success and renunciation
6. Return to Africa: monks and bishops
Part II. Genre: Describing a Life:
7. 'The first ten books are about me …'
8. 'I want to know all about you'
9. Spiritual biography
Part III. True Confessions? Narrative and Memory: 10. What really happened?
11. Multiple readings and exegesis
12. Narrative and memory
13. Telling stories
14. Augustine's conversion
Part IV. Speaking the Truth: Rhetoric and Style:
15. Sermo humilis and variation of style
16. Intertexts: Bible, classical culture and philosophy
17. Hearing the Confessions
Part V. Finding Meanings: Augustine at Carthage
Part VI. Reading The Confessions.
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