St. Augustine’s Confessions
St. Augustine’s “Confessions” is an autobiography written by St. Augustine, who then was known as Bishop Augustine. This autobiography shows the struggles that Augustine faces as he matures and searches for the answers to the questions he asks. Augustine writes this autobiography at age 45 while he was a formidable Bishop, but writes about a young man who was not nearly as formidable, but was confused, wandering, and away from home. During this autobiography you have to be able to distinguish Augustine the author, the formidable Bishop, and Augustine, the young man who doesn’t know his way and who sometimes can be a heretic.
At the beginning of this autobiography, Augustine talks about his early life. Augustine grew up in Africa, North Africa, in the town of Thagaste. Augustine was a brilliant young man and exceeded in his education in rhetoric, or public speaking in which he was trained for political power. In his education, he read a series of books by the Cicero, the great Roman rhetorician, and after he finished reading Cicero’s books about rhetoric, he found some of Cicero’s books about philosophy. The first book that Augustine read from Cicero about Philosophy was “The Hortensius.” This book was a diolouge that was designed to exhort one to philosophize. Augustine comments on how it felt to read this book and how it changed his life in his autobiography “The Confessions” where he states “this book in truth changed my desires and turned my prayers to Yourself, oh Lord, and made me have other hopes and desires. Worthless suddenly became every great hope to me and with an incredible warmth of heart I yearned for the immortality of wisdom.” This book changed Augustine’s life dramatically and he began his search for wisdom. Augustine, enflamed with the desire for wisdom, searches for this wisdom in scriptures. The Bible that Augustine read was poor Latin translation that did not use powerful words and turned Augustine off to the...
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