The Routledge Guidebook to Augustine's Confessions: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Routledge Guidebook to Augustine's Confessions

1st Edition

By Catherine Conybeare


170 pages

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pub: 2016-06-23
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Augustine’s Confessions is one of the most significant works of Western culture. Cast as a long, impassioned conversation with God, it is intertwined with passages of life-narrative and with key theological and philosophical insights. It is enduringly popular, and justly so.

The Routledge Guidebook to Augustine’s Confessions is an engaging introduction to this spiritually creative and intellectually original work. This guidebook is organized by themes:

  • the importance of language
  • creation and the sensible world
  • memory, time and the self
  • the afterlife of the Confessions.

Written for readers approaching the Confessions for the first time, this guidebook addresses the literary, philosophical, historical and theological complexities of the work in a clear and accessible way. Excerpts in both Latin and English from this seminal work are included throughout the book to provide a close examination of both the autobiographical and theoretical content within the Confessions.


"The Routledge Guidebook to Augustine’s Confessions is a remarkably lucid and intelligent introduction to one of the most important texts in the history of the Christian West. Through sensitive analysis of the language and structure of the Confessions, Professor Conybeare illuminates the key elements of Augustine’s thought, and brings out the depth and originality of this brilliant work."

Sara Lipton, State University of New York at Stony Brook, USA

"As a guide to reading the Confessions, this book is a beautiful introduction to a classic of Western culture. Conybeare captures the spirit of Augustine's quest for God, confessing what is known and unknown, and invites readers in a delightful way to read much more than Augustine's words."

Allan Fitzgerald, Villanova University, USA

"When Augustine surrenders himself in confession before God and his audience, he could not have wished for a more sympathetic human hearer than Conybeare. She is no disinterested listener, but engages with the conversation in a way that, in turn, enables her own audience to participate in it. The experience is precisely the transformative one that Augustine intended his Confessions to be."

Carol Harrison, Oxford University, UK

"Catherine Conybeare offers an excellent guide to Augustine's autobiographical Confessions. She is not a theologian or church historian. Rather, she is a scholar of classical literature and there­fore lends a unique angle to the study of Confessions."

Jack Kilcrease, Aquinas College

Table of Contents

Preface 1. Introduction Excerpt 1: part of the opening prayer 2. Language Excerpt 2: the firmament as bible 3. Creation and the sensible world Excerpt 3: the ascent at Ostia 4. Memory and time 5. Afterword Bibliography Index

About the Author

Catherine Conybeare is Professor and Chair in the Department of Greek, Latin, and Classical Studies at Bryn Mawr College,USA

About the Series

The Routledge Guides to the Great Books

The Routledge Guides to the Great Books provide ideal introductions to the texts which have shaped Western Civilization. The Guidebooks explore the arguments and ideas contained in the most influential works from some of the most brilliant thinkers who have ever lived, from Aristotle to Marx and Newton to Wollstonecraft. Each Guidebook opens with a short introduction to the author of the great book and the context within which they were working and concludes with an examination of the lasting significance of the book. The Routledge Guides to the Great Books will therefore provide students everywhere with complete introductions to the most significant books of all time.

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