Saint Augustine of Hippo: Selections from <I>Confessions </i>and Other Essential Writings—Annotated & Explained

Explores Augustine's controversial teachings on predestination, sexuality and marriage, and the deep undercurrents of Augustine's spiritual quest that still inspire Christians today.

Annotation by Joseph T. Kelley, PhD
Translation from the Augustinian Heritage Institute, The Works of Saint Augustine: A Translation for the 21st Century

5½ x 8½, 272 pp | 978-1-59473-282-9

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The restless heart and searching mind of this influential early church father can offer spiritual and intellectual companionship for your spiritual journey.

Augustine of Hippo (354–30), theologian, priest, and bishop, is one of the most important figures in the development of Western Christianity. He is known as much for his long interior struggle that ended with conversion and baptism at age thirty-two as for his influential teachings on human will, original sin and the theology of just war. Cherished as a model for the pursuit of a life of spiritual grace and criticized for his theory of predestination, Augustine is recognized as a living expression of the passion to understand and communicate the deeper meanings of human experience.

With fresh translations drawn from Augustine’s voluminous writings and probing facing-page commentary, Augustinian scholar Joseph T. Kelley, PhD, provides insight into the mind and heart of this foundational Christian figure. Kelley illustrates how Augustine’s keen intellect, rhetorical skill and passionate faith reshaped the theological language and dogmatic debates of early Christianity. He explores the stormy religious arguments and political upheavals of the fifth century, Augustine’s controversial teachings on predestination, sexuality and marriage, and the deep undercurrents of Augustine’s spiritual quest that still inspire Christians today.

“Rescues the eloquence and relevance of Saint Augustine for contemporary readers. This is a book for students, scholars—and any earnest seeker in search of a great companion.”

James Carroll, author, Practicing Catholic and Constantine’s Sword

“An important contribution…. Combines both the technical expertise of an Augustine scholar and the communication skills that make his work appealing to [non-scholarly] readers. One can only hope that this book is the first of many on Saint Augustine to flow from Dr. Kelley’s pen.”

Donald X. Burt, OSA, professor emeritus, Villanova University

“Becoming acquainted with Christianity necessarily entails encountering Saint Augustine. Joseph Kelley’s illuminating anthology is a compelling introduction to the ancient church’s most profound thinker.”

Professor Jane E. Merdinger, Augustinian Heritage Institute; author, Rome and the African Church in the Time of Augustine

Preface ix
Introduction xiii
A Note on the Translation xliii

Part One:The Journey of Faith 1
Unquiet Hearts 3
Keep On Moving 5
Searching Minds 7
Faith Seeking Understanding 9
Doubt and Skepticism 13
The Will to Believe 15
Give Me Chastity—But Not Yet 17
The Will to Power 21
The Divided Will 23

Part Two: Through Sin to Grace 27
The Devil Made Me Do It 29
Our Sins Are Our Own 33
Original Sin 37
The Disorder in Sin 41
The Nature of Evil 45
Paralysis of Will 51
Saved by Grace: The Pelagian Controversy 55
Give What You Command 59
Conversion 63
Predestination 65
Reconsideration 67

Part Three: Intent upon God 69
Knowing God 71
Loving God 77
God as Trinity 81
Jesus Christ 85
The Holy Spirit 91
Loving One Another 97
Friendship 101
Community 109
The Church 113
The Donatists 121
The Sacraments 127
Ministry 131
Prayer 137

Part Four: While in the World 143
Creation 145
Concupiscence 151
Marriage 159
Women 165
Politics 171
Justice 177
War 187
Peace 195
Death 203

Suggestions for Further Study 211
Index of Texts 213