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Confessions  By  cover art

Confessions

By: St. Augustine,Henry Chadwick
Narrated by: S. D. Cousins
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Publisher's Summary

In his own day the dominant personality of the Western Church, Augustine of Hippo today stands as perhaps the greatest thinker of Christian antiquity, and his Confessions is one of the great works of Western literature. In this intensely personal narrative, Augustine relates his rare ascent from a humble Algerian farm to the edge of the corridors of power at the imperial court in Milan, his struggle against the domination of his sexual nature, his renunciation of secular ambition and marriage, and the recovery of the faith his mother Monica had taught him during his childhood.

Now, Henry Chadwick, an eminent scholar of early Christianity, has given us the first new English translation in 30 years of this classic spiritual journey. Chadwick renders the details of Augustine's conversion in clear, modern English. We witness the future saint's fascination with astrology and with the Manichees, and then follow him through scepticism and disillusion with pagan myths until he finally reaches Christian faith. There are brilliant philosophical musings about Platonism and the nature of God, and touching portraits of Augustine's beloved mother, of St. Ambrose of Milan, and of other early Christians like Victorinus, who gave up a distinguished career as a rhetorician to adopt the orthodox faith. Augustine's concerns are often strikingly contemporary, yet his work contains many references and allusions that are easily understood only with background information about the ancient social and intellectual setting. To make the Confessions accessible to contemporary listeners, Chadwick provides the most complete and informative notes of any recent translation and includes an introduction to establish the context.

The religious and philosophical value of the Confessions is unquestionable - now modern listeners will have easier access to St. Augustine's deeply personal meditations. Chadwick's lucid translation and helpful introduction clear the way for a new experience of this classic.

©1991 Henry Chadwick (P)2021 Upfront Books

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

best translation

This is by far the best translation of Confessions into modern language. I enjoyed it immensely.

8 people found this helpful

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Enriching & Edifying

A Christian classic. It was beneficial and enriching to read the early works of a church father who became so influential to the Church, theology, and practice.

The writing style in the Oxford University Press edition, translated by Henry Chadwick is very good, modern, and understandable.

The writing style of Augustine is different from modern standards. It is a mix of poetry, prose, autobiography, and Scripture quotation wrapped into his thought and voice. It can become hard to follow Augustine, at times when he speaks figuratively or allegorically. What he is saying may not be readily apparent to modern readers until they realize that he is speaking figuratively about his subject. For the vast majority of the work, a modern reader will be pleased to know they will understand most of what Augustine is saying. There are two major confessions that may be challenging for the modern reader: (1) when he speaks about time and (2) when he figuratively expounds on the Genesis creation story. The reader will be met with a cascade of thoughts that seem to be run-on in nature, staccato in pace, and boundless in depth. Do not fear - absorb what you can and reference the excellent footnotes for help, and keep turning the page. There is no need to get bogged down by abstract thoughts, which might be alien and foreign to modern readers' sensibilities.

Overall, it is well worth the time, effort, and energy to read Saint Augustine's Confessions at least once in your life. You will be enriched by its beauty and light.

I bought the audiobook and the physical book and read along with the narrator. It took me five days to complete the book.

2 people found this helpful