The Confessions of St. Augustine (and The Imitation of Christ) [NOOK Book]

Overview

Confessions (Latin: Confessiones) is the name of an autobiographical work, consisting of 13 books, by St. Augustine of Hippo, written between AD 397 and AD 398. Modern English translations of it are sometimes published under the title The Confessions of St. Augustine in order to distinguish the book from other books with similar titles. Its original title was "Confessions in Thirteen Books", and it was composed to be read out loud with each ...
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The Confessions of St. Augustine (and The Imitation of Christ)

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Overview

Confessions (Latin: Confessiones) is the name of an autobiographical work, consisting of 13 books, by St. Augustine of Hippo, written between AD 397 and AD 398. Modern English translations of it are sometimes published under the title The Confessions of St. Augustine in order to distinguish the book from other books with similar titles. Its original title was "Confessions in Thirteen Books", and it was composed to be read out loud with each book being a complete unit.

The work outlines Augustine's sinful youth and his conversion to Christianity. It is widely seen as the first Western autobiography ever written, and was an influential model for Christian writers throughout the following 1000 years of the Middle Ages. It is not a complete autobiography, as it was written in his early 40s, and he lived long afterwards, producing another important work (City of God); it does, nonetheless, provide an unbroken record of his development of thought and is the most complete record of any single person from the 4th and 5th centuries. It is a significant theological work. In the work St. Augustine writes about how much he regrets having led a sinful and immoral life. He discusses his regrets for following the Manichaean religion and believing in astrology. He writes about Nebridius's role in helping to persuade him that astrology was not only incorrect but evil, and St. Ambrose's role in his conversion to Christianity. The first nine books are autobiographical and the last four are commentary. He shows intense sorrow for his sexual sins, and writes on the importance of sexual morality. The books were written as prayers to God, thus the title, based on the Psalms of David; and it begins with "For Thou has made us for thyself and our hearts are restless till they rest in Thee". The work is thought to be divisible into books which symbolize various aspects of the Trinity and trinitarian belief.

The Imitation of Christ (Latin: De Imitatione Christi) by Thomas à Kempis is a Christian devotional book. It was first composed in Latin ca.1418-1427. It is a handbook for spiritual life arising from the Devotio Moderna movement, where Kempis was a member.

The Imitation is perhaps the most widely read devotional work next to the Bible, and is regarded as a devotional and religious classic. Apart from the Bible no book has been translated into more languages than the Imitation of Christ.

The text is divided into four books, which provide detailed spiritual instructions: "Helpful Counsels of the Spiritual Life", "Directives for the Interior Life", "On Interior Consolation" and "On the Blessed Sacrament". The approach taken in the Imitation is characterized by its emphasis on the interior life and withdrawal from the world, as opposed to an active imitation of Christ by other friars.
The book places a high level of emphasis on the devotion to the Eucharist as key element of spiritual life.

The ideal of the imitation of Christ has been an important element of Christian theology, ethics and spirituality. References to this concept and its practice are found in the earliest Christian documents, e.g. the Pauline Epistles.

Saint Augustine viewed the Imitation of Christ as the fundamental purpose of Christian life, and as a remedy for the imitation of the sins of Adam. Saint Francis of Assisi believed in the physical as well as the spiritual imitation of Christ, and advocated a path of poverty and preaching like Jesus who was poor at birth in the manger and died naked on the cross. The theme of imitation of Christ existed in all phases of Byzantine theology, and in the 14th century book Life in Christ Nicholas Cabasilas viewed "living one's own personal life" in Christ as the fundamental Christian virtue.
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Product Details

  • BN ID: 2940015682113
  • Publisher: Balefire Publishing
  • Publication date: 9/18/2012
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 385
  • File size: 18 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

Augustine of Hippo (November 13, 354 – August 28, 430), also known as Augustine, St. Augustine, St. Austin, St. Augoustinos, St. Augustin, Blessed Augustine, or St. Augustine the Blessed, was bishop of Hippo Regius (present-day Annaba, Algeria). He was a Latin philosopher and theologian from the Africa Province of the Roman Empire and is generally considered as one of the greatest Christian thinkers of all times. His writings were very influential in the development of Western Christianity.

According to his contemporary Jerome, Augustine "established anew the ancient Faith." In his early years he was heavily influenced by Manichaeism and afterward by the Neo-Platonism of Plotinus. After his conversion to Christianity and his baptism in 387, Augustine developed his own approach to philosophy and theology, accommodating a variety of methods and different perspectives. He believed that the grace of Christ was indispensable to human freedom, and he framed the concepts of original sin and just war.

When the Western Roman Empire was starting to disintegrate, Augustine developed the concept of the Catholic Church as a spiritual City of God (in a book of the same name), distinct from the material Earthly City. His thoughts profoundly influenced the medieval worldview. Augustine's City of God was closely identified with the Church, the community that worshiped the Trinity.

In the Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion, he is a saint and pre-eminent Doctor of the Church, and the patron of the Augustinians; his memorial is celebrated 28 August, the day of his death. He is the patron saint of brewers, printers, theologians, the alleviation of sore eyes, and a number of cities and dioceses. Many Protestants, especially Calvinists, consider him to be one of the theological fathers of the Protestant Reformation due to his teaching on salvation and divine grace. In the Eastern Orthodox Church he is also considered a saint, his feast day being celebrated on 15 June. He carries the additional title of Blessed. Among the Orthodox, he is called "Blessed Augustine" or "St. Augustine the Blessed".

Augustine struggled with lust throughout his life. He had a mistress before he converted, but once he became a Christian, he condemned all forms of extra-marital sex (including his previous relationship with his mistress), considering them unlawful and unbiblical. In the Confessions, Augustine describes his personal struggle vividly.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 69 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(24)

4 Star

(11)

3 Star

(10)

2 Star

(9)

1 Star

(15)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 60 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 11, 2011

    Bad Scan

    Bad Scan

    Like so many of the free books available for the Nook, this is a Google scan & book is very poor. Pagination and printing is off. This is not the way to read a book.

    It is not worth the trouble, and I am deleting it.

    I guess you really do get what you pay for¿

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2012

    Great book - bad scan

    This book is an amazing read, but it is really hard to read this ebook because of all the errors.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Life Changing

    I first came across St. Augustine's "Confessions" when I was a freshman in college. It was a monumental experience in terms of both the content of his writing and the freshness and relevance of his writing style. After re-reading them again recently, I am still struck with how contemporary the book feels. Aside from many of its 4th century particularities, the concerns that St. Augustine had and the way he frankly and honestly dealt with them could be lifted from almost any contemporary tell-all autobiography. The biggest exception is the fact that "Confessions" is a quintessentially and irreducibly a religious text, and in an age when religious considerations are largely pushed towards the margins of their life stories, it is refreshing and uplifting to see what would a life look like for someone who took them very seriously and committed himself to reorganizing one's whole life around the idea of serving God wholly and uncompromisingly. "Confessions" is a very accessible text, and for the most part it does not deal with theological and philosophical issues. The exception is the latter part of the book, which are almost exclusively dedicated to those topics. You may want to skip those at the first reading, but I would encourage you to read them nevertheless. Maybe the very inspiring and uplifting story of St. Augustine's conversion to Christianity can lead you into deeper considerations about your faith or the meaning of life in general. I cannot think of a better introduction to those topics than "Confessions," nor of a better guide than St. Augustine.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 12, 2012

    Recommended

    Take TIME to read this spiritually helpful book. A page or two a day is easier to comprehend and apply to our life. This book is a four star rate in my opinion.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 3, 2010

    Different book than is shown on page.

    The book that you receive when you download this title is an archaic version of the Confessions and is missing the last three chapters. I called Customer Service and they were very helpful. They were very courteous and refunded my purchase.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 13, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Confessions of St Augustine (Large Print)

    What a great book that is now available in large print for those of us who need a bit larger print than the fine print usually reserved for legal documents! ha!
    St Augustine draws us in to his world and his travels as he walks the road towards the City of God. His reflections offer so much hope and inspiration in a world so desperately in need of affirming voices.
    In BX 9 the death of his Mother Monica is a beautiful tribute to her faith and her charity among the godly. This is a book that will never be out of style or grow stale. We are all faced with the same challenges as we walk our won pilgrim way. It is definetealy a companion for the journey. It's a great read in your early years and a must in your later years.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2012

    Highly recommended - you mut check it out

    I attend bible class and need to be aquainted with the Confessions of St. Augustine. The History of Early Church is quite interesting and informative.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2012

    Another great book I read in college!

    Great read another great book for your reading collection!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2013

    An old translation? too old??

    This probably does give a flavor of the manner of reasoning of St. Augustine, a saint who lived when people evidently had a lot more time for navel-gazing. The language is archaic and the reasoning obtuse. I would have preferred a more "helpful" - dumbed down? - translation.

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    Posted December 31, 2010

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