Confessions is the name of an autobiographical work, consisting of 13 books, by St. Augustine of Hippo, written between AD 397 and AD 398.
"The work outlines Augustine's sinful youth and his conversion to Christianity.
It is widely seen as the first Western autobiography ever written, and was an
influential model for Christian writers throughout the following 1,000 years of
the Middle Ages.
It is not a complete autobiography, as it was written in his
early 40s, and he lived long afterwards, producing another important work (City
of God). It does, nonetheless, provide an unbroken record of his development of
thought and is the most complete record of any single person from the 4th and
5th centuries. It is a significant theological work, featuring spiritual
meditations and divine insights.
In the work St. Augustine writes about how much he regrets having led a sinful
and immoral life. He discusses his regrets for following the Manichaean religion
and believing in astrology. He writes about Nebridius's role in helping to
persuade him that astrology was not only incorrect but evil, and St. Ambrose's
role in his conversion to Christianity.
The first nine books are
autobiographical and the last four are commentary. He shows intense sorrow for
his sexual sins, and writes on the importance of sexual morality. The books were
written as prayers to God, thus the title, based on the Psalms of David; and it
begins with "For Thou has made us for thyself and our hearts are restless till
they rest in Thee." The work is thought to be divisible into books which
symbolize various aspects of the Trinity and trinitarian belief."
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Audio copies of
Confessions by St. Augustine of Hippo
available from Librivox.org