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St Augustine, His Confessions And Christianity


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In order to understand people better some human beings take a great interest in themselves. In order to portray others convincingly, some writers constantly examine themselves. It is this penetrating intrapersonal interest that is the source of many great novels, essays and autobiographical pieces. A good example is the Confessions of St. Augustine, written in 426 AD, just after the generation that saw the most significant rise of Christianity after four centuries of slow growth.-Andre Deutsche, Thomas Mann: Diaries 1918-1939, London, 1983, p.vi. :lol:


That rapid and gentle fall of paganism

back then when you wrote those Confessions1,

amidst smiles of contempt for the last struggles

of superstition and despair, you witnessed

as you told of your yearning, your wandering,

your groaning, your inner life,

the note of urgency, of poignancy,

of tension, of unexpected emotions,

of intense personal involvement

with ideas, with an inner continuum,

of light and shadow,

of one long battle with the self,

with an inner depth of infinite complexity,

an inner self-portrait

and its myriad involvements

where light crept back

over rain-soaked landscapes

and darkness often spread

over the limitless room of your heart. :rolleyes:


Ron Price

30 September 1996


1 St. Augustine wrote his book Confessions in 397, in the midst of the great conversion process to Christianity during the late Roman Empire. One of the first writers in history to make an attempt to discuss his inner life.


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