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The Confessions of St. Augustine

Narrated by: Mark Meadows
Length: 14 hrs and 50 mins
5 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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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.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

Public Domain (P)2017 Naxos AudioBooks

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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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  • Will
  • 20-08-2017

Very listenable translation.

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

15 people found this helpful

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  • S. Fratanduono
  • 29-01-2019

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

6 people found this helpful

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  • Ryan
  • 03-12-2017

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.

12 people found this helpful

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  • John
  • 22-05-2020

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.

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  • Greg Gerber
  • 13-08-2019

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.

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  • Crow-Conspirator
  • 27-05-2020

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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  • Mitchell Rothenberger
  • 05-10-2019

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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  • Emmanuel Mulenga
  • 21-08-2018

Great confessions

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

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  • aurelien collin
  • 20-06-2020

walk with God

amazing testament and reflect of augustine onn his life, conversion and wlk with the Lord. This book helped me so much cause i walked on augustine feet and i am humble and amazed that he had issues doubts and fights with his creator like all of us. we just have to knock on His door to come in and receive from HIM. amazing book

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  • Doteacup
  • 01-05-2020

Thought provoking self reflection

This autobiography takes the reader through self discovery of the essence of the journey of life. It provides a view into the thought process of Augustine of Hippo as he finds a deeper meaning of life.

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  • J. Mann
  • 08-03-2020

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.

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  • Mr. Djvw Kotze
  • 19-08-2019

Wonderful literature from church father

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

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  • eleutheria
  • 01-08-2020

Wrong tone - perhaps not read by a believer?

Fantastic book, but narrator uses a gushing, breathy style which feels lively but lacking sincerity

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  • DP
  • 12-06-2020

Great version

Dont be put off the the comment above 'This is not the religion of Jesus and not even the religion of Paul.'
The Church has always taught we should fast and mortify the body.
Matt. 9:15; Mark 2:20; Luke 5:35 - many people frown upon the practice of fasting, and say that fasting went away after the resurrection of Christ. But Jesus Himself says that His followers will fast once He is gone and does not object.
Matt. 6:16-18 - in fact, Jesus even gives instructions on how to fast. Jesus says, "Do not look dismal like the hypocrites, but look clean and refreshed."
Matt. 17-21; Mark 9:29 - Jesus teaches that only prayer and fasting had special power to cure a man possessed by a demon. Jesus teaches about the efficacy of fasting and how fasting, coupled with prayer, is acceptable and pleasing to God.
Luke 2:37 - Anna the widow worshiped God with fasting and prayer night and day. The Church has always taught that, by virtue of our priesthood conferred in baptism, our fasting participates in the priesthood of Christ by atoning for the temporal punishments due to our and other people’s sins.
Acts 13:2-3; 14:23 - the apostles engaged in prayer and fasting in connection with ordaining leaders of the Church. Prayer and fasting have always been the practice of the Church.
1 Tim. 4:3 - when Paul refers to doctrines that require abstinence from foods, some people refer to this verse to condemn the practice of fasting. But Paul is referring to abstinence and any other practice that is performed apart from Christ's teachings. Fasting, on the other hand, is done in obedience to Christ's teachings of taking up our cross and following Him, by participating in His sufferings so we can share in His glory. When citing this verse, these people do not explain why Jesus prophesied that his followers would fast and why Jesus gave instructions on how to fast.

Also in the OT
Ez. 8:21-23 - Ezra proclaims a fast as a prayer for humility and self-mortification and God responds. Our fasting is performed to remind us of our absolute reliance upon God.
Neh. 1:4; 9:1 - these texts also show the historical practice of fasting. Fasting atones for temporal punishment due to sin and repairs our relationship with God.
Tobit 12:8 - prayer is good when accompanied by fasting. Throughout salvation history, God has encouraged fasting to be coupled with prayer.
Judith 4:9-13 - the people of Israel humbled themselves with fasting and the Lord Almighty responds.
Esther 4:3,16 - people fasted for days to atone for sin. Although Jesus remits the eternal penalty of our sin, we can atone for temporal penalties due to our sin.
Psalm 35:13 - David says, "I afflicted myself with fasting." David recognized that fasting drew him closer to God. Fasting makes us aware of our dependency on God.
Psalm 69:10 - the Psalmist writes, "I humbled my soul with fasting." Fasting helps us become humble, and in our humility we unit ourselves with our humble God.
Jer. 36:9 - the peoples of Jerusalem and Judah declared a fast before the Lord.
Baruch 1:5 - they wept, fasted, and prayed before the Lord.
Dan. 9:3; 10:2-3 - Daniel sought God through fasting, and abstained from choice foods and wine for three weeks.
Joel 1:14; 2:12,15 - fasts are called to sanctify and turn oneself toward the Lord.
Jonah 3:5,10 - people of Nineveh proclaim a fast to appease God and God responds favorably.
1 Macc. 3:47; 2 Macc. 13:12 - Judas and his army fasted in prayer.