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Publisher's Summary

A story of spiritual awakening, The Confessions of St. Augustine is a fascinating look at the life of an eminent Christian thinker. Widely seen as one of the first Western autobiographies ever written, it chronicles the life and religious struggles of Augustine of Hippo, from his days as a self-confessed sinner to his acceptance of Christianity as an older adult. Along the way he unveils his theological questioning of human existence and the essence and nature of God while providing influential philosophical arguments on creation and time. Augustine's sincere and inquisitive attitude will inspire any listener, regardless of faith. Translated by R. S. Pine-Coffin.

Public Domain (P)2017 Naxos AudioBooks

What listeners say about The Confessions of St. Augustine

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Very listenable translation.

While there are probably more poetic translations using more archaic language, this one is very listener friendly...perfect for Audible.

21 people found this helpful

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good

It's a classic work
I don't think I ever could have read it because the content can get pretty dry. I liked the narrator and would recommend it.

14 people found this helpful

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Take and Listen

Attempting to say anything illuminating about one of the most illuminating books ever written might come perilously close to intellectual arrogance. That being one of the many failings Augustine detects and dissects within himself—all the while inviting you and me to do the same—I’ll just give you a brief road map of this listen. After 15 centuries on the best-seller list, we can take its greatness as a given.

The first ten books cover Augustine’s life, from childhood to conversion. The next two offer a close exegesis of the first few verses of Genesis, where Augustine the philosopher uses philosophy as the “handmaid to theology”—the only way it has ever been able to hold my interest. The final book offers an interpretation of the same verses of Genesis through what would become a favorite lens for the Medieval mind, allegory. To my mind, this last book approaches the visionary.

Of course, I didn’t grasp everything I should have--far from it. But one of the virtues of an audiobook is that, as with the tangle of nautical details in an Aubrey/Maturin novel, here you can let the finer points flow over you and perceive the greater, general idea. In this, Mark Meadows is no end of help; he reads with a conviction and subdued energy that envelops you. The translation, by the unfortunately named R.S. Pine-Coffin, is superb.

11 people found this helpful

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amazingly relevant

Absolutely fascinating that a book written well over fifteen hundred years ago is still relevant and in many ways profound even in light of modern religious thinking as well as scientific gains. i really enjoyed this, although I will admit it took me quite a while to get all the way through it as it is very dense

7 people found this helpful

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The narration gives life to Augustine's confession

The book by itself would have been packed with golden nuggets of truth and perspective. However, Mark Meadows' narration brings the book to life. You can hear the sorrow, confusion, gut-wrenching internal debates and wholehearted praise of God and Jesus in his voice. I felt as though I was back in 400 AD listening to the studied philosopher expanding on his ideas and realizations. The book gives listeners a lot to think about and it's evident that many of the truths Augustine uncovered centuries ago are still relevant today.

5 people found this helpful

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Classic of Western Civilization Read Well

St. Augustine (pronounced Au-GUS-tin) possessed a towering intellect and had experienced enthusiasm for Gnostic Manichaeism. He could also write a moving account of stealing pears as a boy. Behind all of this is the figure of St. Monica, who never gave up in her heroic efforts to see her wayward so baptized as a Christian.

The Confessions is a book of searing honesty and great philosophical depth. It is a powerful reminder that we are not necessarily “smarter” for the passage of many centuries. It speaks to us today as powerfully as it did to his contemporaries.

Reader Mark Meadows does a remarkable job, first of all making the sometimes difficult writing clear, and second, subtly conveying St. Augustine’s perplexity, wonder, grief and even rapture with only slight changes in his delivery. Clearly, he’s a pro who knows exactly what he’s doing.

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Chapters are out of order

All the chapters are out of order and the numbers would repeat so I never knew what chapters I was really on. This issue needs to be fixed

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Mostly good

I really like parts of this book. Certain parts resonate with me and I can acknowledge the truth in many sections. Particularly the part when he says (more or less), "You have made us for yourself and our hearts are restless until they rest in you." That said, his interpretation of Genesis is totally wack. I thought the narrator fit the book well. The chapter break down doesn't make sense to me. It would be nice if there were some explanation of how chapters are broken down so that we can switch from audio book to physical book and vice versa without to much difficulty.

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Excellent

Excellent book
Wonderful narration
Since it’s so enriching and long , it would be best if one can go to a specific chapter and easily replay that chapter

2 people found this helpful

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Great confessions

a great personal look at one's humanity and struggles in relation to one's Christian beliefs and life in general

2 people found this helpful

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  • J. Mann
  • 03-08-20

Better than I expected but Augustine is a awful

This book is regarded as a classic and it was fine to listen to. You might have seen a version of The Confessions with lots of "thees" and "thous" well this is in modern English and is not at all a problem to listen to - the delivery is excellent.

The content follows the life of Augustine from his birth to his conversion - it is pretty interesting to hear what life was like in the fourth century and he travels from Africa to Italy - Milan and Rome - and it shows clearly that Christainity was in no way "anti-rational" - educated Christians read and respected the classics the same as all other educated people. After his conversion the narrative stops and Augustine then spends the rest of the book - which is perhaps a fifth or a quarter of the whole - contemplating philosophical and theological issues such as what is time and how did the world come into being.

I did not find these philosophical reflections particularly enlightening but it does show after his conversion he continued to ask intellectual questions and reflect on philosophical topics.

The religion of Augustine however is another matter. This is not the religion of Jesus and not even the religion of Paul although Paul's influence is the greater. Augustine is and remains a gnostic, hating the world, seeing only temptation and evil everywhere, he sees all humans full of sin and deceit and longs to escape this world and live in heaven.

He hates his body with its desires that he struggles to control - even in eating he constantly worries if he has eaten too much or not enough, either being of course for him a sin. He sends the mother of his child back from Italy to Africa - never to see her only child again and so upset she tells Augustine she will never go with another man - yet of all the sins he confesses this - perhaps the most shocking - never appears to have troubled his conscience at all.

Augustine presents a horrifying picture of the spiritual life, and has been responsible for a sick and in many ways wicked spirituality whose pollution is responsible for countless wrecked lives. He has hidden the beauty and love of God and replaced it with a spiteful, mean and cruel God whose anger has to constantly be placated with acts of self-mortification.

This might be worth listening to to educated yourself on how the love of Christianity was replaced by the sickness of Gnosticism but it doesn't tell you anything about the true message of Jesus.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Mr. Djvw Kotze
  • 08-19-19

Wonderful literature from church father

It is interesting to hear the biography of Augustine and his interpretation of the Bible.

2 people found this helpful

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  • eleutheria
  • 08-01-20

Engaging

Fantastic book. it's an awesome achievement for the narrator as he uses an expressive voice throughout

1 person found this helpful

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  • David Graieg
  • 09-24-20

inspiring thoughts

audible needs to add titles.
some profound insights.
does feel a little dated (but at 14 centuries it is still worth listening to)

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  • Pete Shields
  • 10-30-19

Church Father

As relevant today as 2000 years ago. Such a privilege to read. His dear friend and Saint Monica always in our hearts.

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