‘As a youth … I had prayed to you for chastity and said “Give me chastity and continence, but not yet”’
The son of a pagan father and a Christian mother, Saint Augustine spent his early years torn between conflicting faiths and worldviews. His Confessions, written when he was in his forties, recount how, slowly and painfully, he came to turn away from his youthful ideas and licentious lifestyle, to become instead a staunch advocate of Christianity and one of its most influential thinkers. A remarkably honest and revealing spiritual autobiography, the Confessions also address fundamental issues of Christian doctrine, and many of the prayers and meditations it includes are still an integral part of the practice of Christianity today.
In his introduction R. S. Pine-Coffin discusses Saint Augustine’s intentions in writing his Confessions and issues of translation. This edition also includes a list of dates of events recorded in the Confessions.
"[Wills] renders Augustine’s famous and influential text in direct language with all the spirited wordplay and poetic strength intact." —Los Angeles Times
"[Wills’s] translations . . . are meant to bring Augustine straight into our own minds; and they succeed. Well-known passages, over which my eyes have often gazed, spring to life again from Wills’s pages." —Peter Brown, The New York Review of Books
"Augustine flourishes in Wills’s hand." —James Wood
"A masterful synthesis of classical philosophy and scriptural erudition." —Chicago Tribune
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