Confessions by Augustine of HippoAugustines Confessions is one of the most influential and most innovative works of Latin literature. Written in the authors early forties in the last years of the fourth century A.D. and during his first years as a bishop, they reflect on his life and on the activity of remembering and interpreting a life. Books I-IV are concerned with infancy and learning to talk, schooldays, sexual desire and adolescent rebellion, intense friendships and intellectual exploration. Augustine evolves and analyses his past with all the resources of the reading which shaped his mind: Virgil and Cicero, Neoplatonism and the Bible. This volume, which aims to be usable by students who are new to Augustine, alerts readers to the verbal echoes and allusions of Augustines brilliant and varied Latin, and explains his theological and philosophical questioning of what God is and what it is to be human. The edition is intended for use by students and scholars of Latin literature, theology and Church history.
Augustine’s Confessions: A Translation Comparison
In his book Three Philosophies of Life , Dr. Peter Kreeft explains how he rediscovered St. Augustine's Confessions :. That was Frank Sheed's translation of Augustine's Confessions , which I found to be as living as molten lava. The most widely used translation of the Confessions is the one by a Mr.
The striking language Augustine employs to describe his adolescent lusts make the passage especially illuminating in comparing translation approaches:.
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A reader limiting herself to modern translations could avail herself of the English vicar J. Translating the Confessions at this point is not a matter of lending a hand to stranded students with poor Latin but rather a critical intervention. In the case of the classicist Sarah Ruden, it is a rescue mission. It might come as a surprise to inheritors of the Western tradition that Augustine is in trouble. A perennial favorite on college reading lists, Augustine is credited by thinkers like Charles Taylor and Larry Siedentop with having laid the intellectual foundations for our modern age. Meanwhile, religious readers know him as a revered saint in the Catholic Church and a beloved theologian among many Protestants, with the rare honor of being a favorite of both pious followers of the Vatican and diehard reformists. If one progenitor of both theological masterworks and workaday spiritual autobiographies—of both high and low Christian literature—must be chosen, it is easily the renowned bishop of Hippo.
I've made a couple of attempts at reading Augustine's Confessions in the last few months. I'm not normally put off by dense writing, but my copy is Pusey's translation, and I suspect it's not the best I could be reading. I'm sure it's not the most modern. Can anyone recommend a good translation to me? I'd love to read it, because what I have read of his life elsewhere really resonates with me, but I think I need a bit of help :o.