Augustine's struggles with sex and a domineering mother, followed by his spiritual crisis and conversion to Christianity, detailed in his Confessions, ultimately led him to his major contribution to philosophy: the fusion of the two doctrines of Christianity and Neoplatonism. This not only provided Christianity with a strong intellectual backing but tied it to the Greek tradition of philosophy. In this way Christianity managed to keep the flame of philosophy burning, however dimly, through the Dark Ages. Augustine also produced important philosophic ideas of his own, including theories of time and subjective knowledge that anticipated by many centuries the work of Kant and Descartes.
In St. Augustine in 90 Minutes, Paul Strathern offers a concise, expert account of St. Augustine's life and ideas and explains their influence on man's struggle to understand his existence in the world. The book also includes selections from St. Augustine's work, a brief list of suggested readings for those who wish to delve deeper, and chronologies that place St. Augustine within his own age and in the broader scheme of philosophy.
©1997 Paul Strathern; (P) 2005 Blackstone Audiobooks
"Well-written, clear, and informed, they have a breezy wit about them. I find them hard to stop reading." (The New York Times)
If you could sum up St. Augustine in 90 Minutes in three words, what would they be?
aka Cliff Notes
Would you recommend St. Augustine in 90 Minutes to your friends? Why or why not?
Yes - I've listened to each book in the series about a major philosopher that is available on Audible. Strathern's books don't have the analytical depth found in Will Durant's "The Story of Philosophy" books, but he does a good job summarizing each philosopher's biography, major philosophical points, and criticisms. Additionally, Strathern's breadth is broader than Durant's in that he covers a greater number of philosophers. I believe that the time spent listening to these books has been well-spent.
My reviews for each book in the series about a philosopher are identical.
What about Robert Whitfield’s performance did you like?
Voice is clear, well-modulated, and easily understood, even at 1 1/2 speed.
This book is more of a history lesson than an examination of the writings and evolution of beliefs of St. Augustine. The author seems to genuinely dislike Augustine, and makes fun of him throughout the book. If you're hoping to gain more insight into the contributions Augustine made to Christianity, this is not the book for you.
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