Review of 'The Confessions of St Augustine'

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Confessions of St. Augustine The Confessions, a loose autobiography written by Saint Augustine of Hippo, represents an intermediary between the ancient and Christian worlds. Although the eponymous main character has been indoctrinated as a religious figure, his life events as well as his rhetoric throughout The Confessions suggests a man engaged in a constant internal debate surrounding whether to devote his time toward religious or more earthly endeavors. This paper examines how the first four chapters of the book elucidate the theme of one man's attempt to mediate a sensibility that is at turns ancient and Christian. Although it was not his decision at the time, it is crucially relevant that St. Augustine was not baptized, as it establishes the precedent for Augustine's upbringing, which was not devoutly Christian. Augustine's pagan father did not subscribe to Christian doctrines, and Augustine had to constantly decide whether to sympathize with his father or his Christian mother. In Book 1 of The Confessions, Augustine adheres to a Christian sensibility, yet in a manner that reflects the learned sensibility of someone who has wrestled with his faith his entire life: But who is there that calls upon Thee without knowing Thee? For he that knows Thee not may call upon Thee as other than Thou art. Or perhaps we call on Thee that we may know Thee. "But how shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? or how shall they believe without a preacher? (I, i, 1).
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