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AUGUSTINE: Conversions to Confessions
Bibliophile price: £4.00
A magisterial and beautifully written authoritative portrait of this colossal figure at his most thoughtful, vulnerable and profound, written by the Emeritus Fellow of New College, Oxford. 'You are Great, O Lord, and greatly to be praised; great is your power and to your wisdom there is no limits.' So begin the Confessions of St Augustine - the most intimate and heartfelt prayer ever composed, and a study of anguish, hesitation and divine intervention that influences Christians, Catholics and Protestants alike, to this day. But the Confessions do not tell us the full story of Augustine's tumultuous life and times. The celebrated historian follows Augustine of Hippo on this eventful journey to God. Born in AD354 to a pagan father and a Christian mother, Augustine spent the first 30 years of his life grappling with the nature of God and the world. He learned about Christianity as a child but was not baptised, instead choosing to immerse himself in his studies and indulging in a life of lust and ambition. In the Confessions, he recounts his schooling in the Classics in late-Roman North Africa, his sexual sins ('Give me chastity, but not yet' he famously prayed), his time in an outlawed heretical sect, his worldly career and friendships and gradual return to God. Drawing on recently discovered letters and sermons which complicate the story Augustine told about himself, we are taken from his heretical years as a Manichaean and his study of Neoplatonism to his later conversion. A beautifully produced mammoth hardback of 657pp with 33 colour illustrations. 2015 first edition.

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