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Saint Augustine of Hippo and his Confessions - Essay Example

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Saint Augustine of Hippo and his Confessions

Monica. It can be deduced through his works that his main goal is to find the spiritual truth, and due to himself not acknowledging the spiritual presence of God everywhere he had an early life full of sins. He died in 430, just when the Vandals were starting to besiege Calama, where he stayed for the rest of his life.4 As a reformed man who used to live in a life of sin, his book Confessions was able to convey his thoughts as well as his beliefs during and after his conversion to Christianity, as well as the struggles he had to face during the time when Rome was already crumbling and a new era was about to usher in. St. Augustine’s book, Confessions recalls most of his younger life, when he was still living in sin. The first 10 books were mostly his biography, while the remaining books focused on the first chapter of Genesis, mostly dealing with creation and the fall of grace, which he personally experienced.5 While it is not said in the book that he was a very bad child, he found pleasure in committing sins due to his search of love.6 The first book deals with his infancy to his youth, and during which he was starting to question things which he must do, as well as the good and mischievous things that he did in order to gain praise from just about everyone: from his parents; to his teachers and to his peers. However, trying to gain praises from human beings was only to make oneself feel good, and for that he confesses that he only looked for beauty and not the truth.7 The second book tells about St. Augustine’s life as a youth who was sent to Carthage in order to further his studies and become a respectable man. However, due to his relishing of the needs of the flesh, as well as to satisfy the peer pressure from his friends, he has sunk into an even lower state, much to the chagrin of his devout mother. He confessed that during these times, he was doing such things in order to satisfy his need for sinning, and nothing else.8 Concluding this book is St. Augustine admitting that having friends can either be good or dangerous, and that to live away from friends that commit sins should be the best course of action to avoid becoming a sinner even further. The third book talks about St. Augustine’s life in Carthage, how he felt that he desired to love something, but instead fell into the throes of lust.9 He also loved being an audience to theatrical plays, especially those of tragedies since he sees them as a mirror to his own life. Again, just to satisfy his vanity, he committed himself to become an eloquent speaker, to impress people. But upon reading the book Hortensius by Cicero, his whole life goal changed. He now tries to pursue the truth instead of knowledge.10 During this time he was jumping from one belief to another, and he stayed in the Manichean faith for around 10 years. Finally, through his mother, St. Monica, things were starting to become different for him. In the fourth book, most of St. Augustine’s doubts regarding the Manichean religion as well as his swindling life as a teacher of rhetoric were further ...Show more

Summary

ST. AUGUSTINE OF HIPPO AND HIS CONFESSIONS Aurelius Augustinus, later known to be as St. Augustine, was born in the year 354, in an Roman African town known then as Tagaste, which used to be a part of the old kingdom of Numidia, on what is now somewhere in modern-day Algeria.1 While most of his early life a bit before and after becoming an ordained bishop was chronicled by his most trusted friend, Possidius in the book Vita Augustini, most of his life before that can be read in the Confessions.2 As a child, he was free and careless, but a brilliant child nonetheless, and is rather fluent in rhetoric as well as in grammar, which were the common courses during those times…
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Saint Augustine of Hippo and his Confessions essay example
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