- Paperback: 352 pages
- Publisher: Oxford University Press; Reprint edition (June 25, 1998)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0192833723
- ISBN-13: 978-0192833723
- Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 0.7 x 5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 890 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #413,409 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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St. Augustine Confessions (Oxford World's Classics) Reprint Edition
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"An excellent translation."--John Bowlin, University of Tulsa
"A masterly performance by the dean of English-speaking Patristic scholars. Better English than the Penguin and unlike Sheed this has Books X-XIII. The notes hint at hidden depths."--Oliver Nicholson, University of Minnesota
"Chadwick's translation is superb."--Thomas Renna, Saginaw Valley State University
"A beautifully translated, edited, and printed paperback edition."--Francis W. Nichols, St. Louis University
"I am impressed with this translation. It has the poetry and emotive power of the R.S. Pine-Coffin translation for Penguin Books; and it seems much more lucid. The notes are very helpful for my purposes, showing how Augustine wove together Neo-Platonism and Christianity."--David E. Timmer, Central College
"An extremely readable and accessible translation, superior to those of Edward Pusey and F.J. Sheed that we've used in the past."--Helen Moritz, Santa Clara University
"A very competent piece of work....The fact remains that this new translation is the most readable version in modern English."--Manuscripta
"This handsomely bound and printed volume is finely translated and annotated, thus making the Confessions as exciting to read in English as they deserve to be. The informative introduction provides excellent information on Augustine's life and writings."--Gary M. Godfrey, University of Utah
"Fine translation."--P.M. Hess, University of Santa Clara
Text: English (translation)
Original Language: Latin --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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I searched recently for a passage to share with my companion on Valentine's Day, and found this gem:
c. 397 | Hippo
The Brambles of Lust
During my sixteenth year, the narrow means of my family obliged me to leave school and live idly at home with my parents. The brambles of lust grew high above my head and there was no one to root them out, certainly not my father. One day at the public baths he saw the signs of active virility coming to life in me and this was enough to make him relish the thought of having grandchildren. He was happy to tell my mother about it, for his happiness was due to the intoxication which causes the world to forget you, its Creator, and to love the things you have created instead of loving you, because the world is drunk with the invisible wine of its own perverted, earthbound will. But in my mother’s heart you had already begun to build your temple and laid the foundations of your holy dwelling, while my father was still a catechumen and a new one at that. So, in her piety, she became alarmed and apprehensive, and although I had not yet been baptized, she began to dread that I might follow in the crooked path of those who do not keep their eyes on you but turn their backs instead.
How presumptuous it was of me to say that you were silent, my God, when I drifted farther and farther away from you! Can it be true that you said nothing to me at that time? Surely the words which rang in my ears, spoken by your faithful servant, my mother, could have come from none but you? Yet none of them sank into my heart to make me do as you said. I well remember what her wishes were and how she most earnestly warned me not to commit fornication and above all not to seduce any man’s wife. It all seemed womanish advice to me and I should have blushed to accept it. Yet the words were yours, though I did not know it. I thought that you were silent and that she was speaking, but all the while you were speaking to me through her, and when I disregarded her, your handmaid, I was disregarding you, though I was both her son and your servant. But I did this unawares and continued headlong on my way.
Robert C. Ross
The criticisms do not, in fact, pertain to the edition here, containing Monsignor Ryan's 1959 translation. (I suspect they have to do with the edition containing Henry Chadwick's translation, but I'm not sure. They may appear everywhere, for all I know.)
The Image Classics (Doubleday) edition is complete, containing all 13 books, and is very well set-up. It includes clickable end notes.
My comments here imply nothing about the relative merits of the translations, of course. Also, I've awarded this edition five stars basically because I had to do something on the star front! I have not yet read the entire thing.
The book has no notes, and no organization other than the Book I, Book II, Book II, etc. So there is no introduction as to how St. Augustine is organizing his thoughts or where is going with what he has written. In addition, the English translation is written in the "King James English" of "Thee" , "Thou", "art", "wert"., which, in my opinion, is okay for prayerbooks, but not so much when it is pages and pages of this. It makes it a harder read than it needs to be.
In addition St. Augustine indirectly references many biblical texts that are not mentioned in the book. I found online a free Google copy that does give the notes, and while the language is the same, there are notes explaining the theme of each book, which makes the traditional English bearable.
my reaction. Right now, as an elderly woman, an intelligent one albeit, but I find it slow reading because it is so difficult to read and comprehend at the same time. I find it interesting, as a Catholic, to learn that some of the Church's premises came from, such as original sin.