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St. Augustine's Finest Works

The Confessions

The Confessions of Saint Augustine is considered the all time number one Christian classic. Augustine undertook his greatest piece of writing with the conviction that God wanted him to make this confession. The Confessions are, in fact, an extended poetic, passionate, intimate prayer. Augustine was probably forty-three when he began this endeavor. He had been a baptized Catholic for ten years, a priest for six, and a bishop for only two. His pre-baptismal life raised questions in the community. Was his conversion genuine? The first hearers were captivated, as many millions have been over the following sixteen centuries. His experience of God speaks to us across time with little need of transpositions. This new translation masterfully captures his experience.

Sermons

The English reads smoothly and clearly. The sermons have helpful subdivisions in the contents as well as the text. Highly recommended. Library Journal

A must for libraries. Catholic Library World

An excellent resource! Choice

Selected Writings on Grace and Pelagianism

Of the different controversies that preoccupied Augustine during his lifetime, Pelagianism was indisputably the most important for the subsequent history and theology of the western Church. It touched on any number of issues central to Christianity, most notably grace, predestination, original sin and baptism, all of which in turn could be reduced to the fundamental question of the exact nature of the relationship between God and his human creation.

The six major treatises presented in this volume amply illustrate Augustine's struggle with the theological problems that Pelagianism raised. They begin with the Miscellany of Questions in Response to Simplician. Although written in 396, before Pelagianism even appeared on the scene, this work shows in a few pages the remarkable evolution of Augustine's thought on the matter of grace and the position at which he arrived and to which he clung for the rest of his life. The two final treatises, The Predestination of the Saints and The Gift of Perseverance, written in 428/429 shortly before Augustine's death, indicate where the position that he had elaborated more than thirty years before was fatefully destined to take him. The three middle treatises show Augustine in the process of refining — but not altering — his thinking in the face of what he rightly saw as Pelagianism's terrible threat to orthodox Christianity's central tenets.

Answer to Faustus a Manichean

The Answer to Faustus, a Manichean is the most extensive attack on the Manichean religion that the early Church produced. Since Augustine himself had been associated with Manicheanism for nearly a decade before his conversion, his writing displays an insiders knowledge of Manichean teaching. Written probably at the very end of the fourth century, the Answer responds to a certain Faustus, a Manichean bishop, who objects to the Old Testament and questions how Christians can claim it for themselves. Augustine cites Faustus arguments at length, thus giving the reader a useful insight into the Manichean mentality. The Answer is valuable for its reasoned and still-relevant defense of Hebrew Scripture and of its patriarchs and prophets, and also for the opportunity that it gives Augustine to draw connections between the Old and the New Testaments and to show how, in Christian eyes, the latter is the fulfillment of the former.

Letters

The letters of Saint Augustine are an invaluable source of information in the areas of church history, liturgy, spirituality, theology, civil history, etc. The correspondence of Augustine includes 308 letters: 252 that he wrote himself, 49 that others sent him, and 7 letters that others sent to a third party (29 additional letters were added by Professor Divjak in 1981). Some can actually be classified as books as Augustine notes in his Revisions. Each letter is preceded by its own introduction in which the translator offers valuable information about the persons, content, and background pertinent to the letter. Perhaps the most revealing aspect of the letters is not so much the great variety of themes and persons, but the personality of Augustine himself that emerges. The reader comes to know a very human and affectionate Augustine, especially in his writings to Nebridius and other friends. We see Augustine the reconciler, the man of justice and mercy, the healer. While he is steadfast in his many ideas and opinions, he also shows flexibility and a penchant for listening. Certainly, from these letters the reader will learn much about history and church history of that era and will gain insights into church teaching, law, and liturgy. Without a doubt one will encounter and be fascinated by the multifaceted Augustine. Volume 4 contains Letters 211 to 270.

The Augustine Catechism

Enchiridion on Faith Hope and Love

The Enchiridion, literally meaning a book one holds in the hand, is the mature thought of unquestionably one of the most influential theologians of the western church, St. Augustine of Hippo (354-430). Augustine discusses the theological virtues of faith, hope, and love.... Those seeking an excellent introduction either to the thought of the mature Augustine or those needing material for catechetical instruction in the parish would do well to consult this timeless classic. Theology Today