The Confessions of Saint Augustine: An Annotated Bibliography of Modern Criticism, 1888-1995

The Confessions of Saint Augustine: An Annotated Bibliography of Modern Criticism, 1888-1995

The Confessions of Saint Augustine: An Annotated Bibliography of Modern Criticism, 1888-1995

The Confessions of Saint Augustine: An Annotated Bibliography of Modern Criticism, 1888-1995

Synopsis

The modern scholarly verdict about the Confessions has been nothing short of sensational. This work documents the story of 20th-century criticism and praise for Augustine's classic, an ancient text that has grown in stature like few other Western classics. Disciplines such as psychology, literature, and religion, plus many others, all claim it as their own. The first chapter of this study puts modern Confessions scholarship into historical context. The other chapters are devoted to autobiographical studies, literary influences, philosophical interpretations, psychology, spirituality, and theological themes. Of interest to scholars and students in many disciplines.

Excerpt

[Augustine] had long felt a distaste towards the 'vanities' of which he accuses himself in the Confessions... his licentious desires and indulgences; his courtship of influential friends who might find him a 'prefectship'; his search for a rich wife who would not prove a financial responsibility; his craving for respite from the stress of teaching.

Kenneth Kirk, The Vision of god

The function of theology as critical reflection on praxis has gradually become more clearly defined in recent years, but it has its roots in the first centuries of the Church's life. The Augustinian theology of history which we find in The City of God, for example, is based on a true analysis of the signs of the times and the demands with which they challenge the Christian community.

Gustavo Gutierrez, A Theology of Liberation

As Kenneth Kirk reminds us in The Vision of God, Augustine is a very modern man, baring his soul and describing his anxieties, his shortcomings and carnal desires. From Augustine Confessions we know more about him than almost any other figure in late antiquity. His weaknesses, and particularly his self- exposed sexual escapades, have endeared him to generations of Christians and non-Christians alike--he speaks to us "where we are" rather than from some other, purer plane of existence that we associate with most of the Early Fathers. Indeed, through the Confessions St. Augustine appears to be the most accessible and the most human of all the Fathers, and for this reason is perhaps the best loved. Yet he was not just a converted sinner whose existential writings continue to resound meaningfully in the personal lives of believers. Rather, he was a prodigious writer (eleven substantial volumes in the Latin edition of the Maurists) on a range of topics that have significantly defined the parameters of Christian theology then and now. Furthermore, he articulated a number of key doctrinal positions that have been accepted as normative in traditional Christianity for centuries--including the doctrine of original sin, the place of the church in the world, and believers' dependence on divine grace. Without . . .

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