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The Confessions of St. Augustine

Narrated by: Mark Meadows
Length: 14 hrs and 50 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (17 ratings)

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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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    4 out of 5 stars

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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Wonderful literature from church father

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

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  • Will
  • 20-08-17

Very listenable translation.

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

12 people found this helpful

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  • Ryan
  • 03-12-17

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.

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  • S. Fratanduono
  • 29-01-19

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

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  • Greg Gerber
  • 13-08-19

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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  • Mitchell Rothenberger
  • 05-10-19

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
  • 21-08-18

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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  • J. M. Jenkins
  • 18-02-20

Very clear translation and narration

It was a pleasure to listen to Pine-Coffin’s clear translation and Meadows’ reading of August line’s Confessions. I highly recommend complementing reading this classic with hearing it in this audio recording.

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  • Marc Case
  • 15-01-20

Deepened my desire to take a serious examen

A great translation and interpretation of this classic reading. It really brought my need for complete contrition for my sinful life. St Augustine and I share similarities in our early lives. I suspect that anyone can relate to some aspect of his Confession.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-08-19

God’s grace is sufficient for us all.

One of the most compelling books I’ve read. Contemporary Christianity is often very disconnected from the world of the Early Church, and yet, Augustine’s words describe a world that is very much like ours. Truly there is “nothing new under the sun.” There is much comfort and reassurance in this man’s incredible story of faith for any Christian who reads/listens to this. God’s grace is faithful throughout the ages.

(Also, in terms of the audio narration, this recording absolutely deserves five stars.)

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  • Anonymous User
  • 19-03-19

Synopsis

The earnest reflections of a lover of God. As subtle as the most meticulous philosophers, with as much resolve as the most ardent Apostles. Bravo Sir Augustine! You’ve lived up to the legendary name history has awarded you-