Augustine’s Confessions

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss St Augustine of Hippo’s account of his conversion to Christianity and his life up to that point. Written c397AD, it has many elements of autobiography with his scrutiny of his earlier life, his long relationship with a concubine, his theft of pears as a child, his work as an orator and his embrace of other philosophies and Manichaeism. Significantly for the development of Christianity, he explores the idea of original sin in the context of his own experience. The work is often seen as an argument for his Roman Catholicism, a less powerful force where he was living in North Africa where another form of Christianity was dominant, Donatism. While Augustine retells many episodes from his own life, the greater strength of his Confessions has come to be seen as his examination of his own emotional development, and the growth of his soul.

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  • Kate Cooper 3 episodes
    Professor of History at the University of London and Head of History at Royal Holloway
  • Morwenna Ludlow No other episodes
    Professor of Christian History and Theology at the University of Exeter
  • Martin Palmer 22 episodes
    Visiting Professor in Religion, History and Nature at the University of Winchester

Reading list

  • Confessions
    Saint Augustine (trans. by Henry Chadwick) (Oxford University Press, 2008) Google Books →
  • Augustine of Hippo
    Peter Brown (Faber and Faber, 2000) Google Books →
  • Augustine: A Very Short Introduction
    Henry Chadwick (Oxford University Press, 2001) Google Books →
  • Monica: An Ordinary Saint
    Gillian Clark (Oxford University Press, 2015) Google Books →
  • Augustine: The Confessions
    Gillian Clark (Liverpool University Press, 2005) Google Books →
  • Augustine: Conversions to Confessions
    Robin Lane Fox (Penguin, 2016) Google Books →
  • A Reader's Companion to Augustine's Confessions
    Kim Paffenroth and Robert P. Kennedy (Westminster John Knox Press, 2003) Google Books →
  • On Augustine
    Rowan Williams (Bloomsbury Continuum, 2016) Google Books →

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Auto-category: 270.2092 (Christian biography)

Hello (First sentence from this episode) Hello, in 400 AD or thereabouts, when Saint Augustine was Bishop of Hippo in the Roman province of Africa, he wrote one of the most influential works in Western Christianity, his Confessions.