Item description for Sermons to the People: Advent, Christmas, New Year, Epiphany by St Augustine, Saint Augustine of Hippo & Augustine...
Overview A new translation of the sermons and homilies of St. Augustine on the liturgical seasons of the Church presents the preacher's thoughts on such timeless concerns as the problems of materialism and the intellectual difficulties of faith during Advent, Christmas, New Year's, and Epiphany. Original.
Publishers Description A superb new translation brings the words of Augustine the preacher stirringly to life When the great Saint Augustine was called from his country home to become Bishop of Hippo in the fourth century, his new responsibilities took him away from the solitude of his writing and into the glare of the public eye. The author of two of the greatest works of religious literature, "Confessions" and "City of God," Augustine became a shepherd to the people, inspiring and enlightening them with his sermons. His skills as a speaker were as great-if not greater-than his skills as a writer. According to his friend Possidius, "Those who read what Augustine wrote on the divine topics do get something out of them. But those who saw and heard him in person-they were the ones who got heaven and Earth." "Sermons to the People "collects the homilies on the liturgical seasons of the Church Saint Augustine delivered over the course of his lifetime. This Image edition includes the first sermons in that vast collection: from Advent, Christmas, New Year's, and the Epiphany. Newly translated by William Griffin, they address timeless concerns, including the problems of materialism and the intellectual difficulties of faith. Griffin renders the sermons with such immediacy, it is as though he had been present when Augustine spoke to his flock.
Citations And Professional Reviews Sermons to the People: Advent, Christmas, New Year, Epiphany by St Augustine, Saint Augustine of Hippo & Augustine has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Publishers Weekly - 09/23/2002
Booklist - 10/01/2002 page 284
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.82" Width: 5.36" Height: 0.65" Weight: 0.78 lbs.
Release Date Oct 15, 2002
ISBN 0385503113 ISBN13 9780385503112
Availability 0 units.
More About St Augustine, Saint Augustine of Hippo & Augustine
Henry William Griffin is a writer, editor, translator, and journalist living in Alexandria, Louisiana. He has most recently translated The Imitation of Christ and has also done major biographical work on C. S. Lewis and Billy Graham.
St Augustine has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Sermons to the People: Advent, Christmas, New Year, Epiphany?
Patience Rewarded Jan 5, 2006
"He'd never left that holy state while He was appearing to us as we were; that heavenly power was added to an infant body, and yet the earth's resources weren't any poorer...To them it's just plain embarrassing that God should walk around in a funny, ill-fitting body. To us, of course, it's a greatly encouraging sight." p 57
Griffen has compiled a rich resource of the reflections of one of the Church's great minds on one of the Church's great narratives. In a time of pithy refrains and a secular hijack of our season of worship this book is a refreshing resource. It just takes a little patience to get there. By a regrettable editorial choice he opens with a 47 page sermon on the genealogies and inner-marital chastity that Augustine was literally preaching for the second time because the first time he tried it his audience largely fell asleep - not good times. The sermons that follow however, soar with rich reflections on the temporal genesis of the God-man and the sublime intersection of the celestial and corporeal in the event of the incarnation.
One other note is that Griffen takes his `paraphrase translation' liberties to Eugene Petersonesqe extents. His adaptation of Augustine's Latin is often compelling but is sometimes just so contemporary that it seems a bit absurd or anachronistic. Regardless, these would be fantastic readings to integrate into either Protestant or Catholic reflections during the Advent/Christmas season. If you hunger for insights beyond `Jesus is the Reason for the Season' to center you on the Truth at the heart the Christian adaptation of the winter holiday, this is a great place to start...particularly around page 50.
A Thoroughly Modern Augustine Does Advent Nov 24, 2002
There's no place like Hippo for the holidays. Especially when it's the turn of the fifth century and you've gotten yourself over to the cathedral early enough to score a good spot for the bishop's Mass. I'm telling you, that guy can flat-out preach.
Fast-forward 16 centuries. Many familiar with St. Augustine know him from his greatest written works, The Confessions and The City of God. Both are bedrocks in the Western literary canon, fussed over by students not only of literature, but also of history, philosophy and theology. But how many of us, his fawning fans included, know what it was like to have your ears tickled by the very voice of Christendom's greatest genius?
William Griffin thinks he has a pretty good idea. And he does a fine and fun job of putting his insights across in these translations of Augustine's Christmas-season sermons.
This is Augustine like you've never read him. Glib, pointed, playful, colloquial, streetwise: He'll say whatever needs to be said to get you to let the facts of Christ's coming open your mind, penetrate your heart and change your life. And, true to form, for all his crafty rhetorical flourishes, he doesn't speak a word or even think a thought that can't be directly traced to Scripture. We already knew that about the bishop of Hippo, but we haven't seen it relayed in quite this way before.
"Let's recognize this day for what it is, my dear Brothers and Sisters," Griffin's Augustine says of Christmas. "Let's pretend we ourselves are the day! Yes, when we were living unfaithfully, we were the night. Indeed the slip-sliding in our faith had made the nights longer and colder till day itself was about to be snuffed. That's how it was on the day Our Lord Jesus Christ was born. The shortest day of the year. The Winter Solstice. From this point onward in human history, the nights grew shorter, the days longer." John 1:9, anyone?
Just as Augustine was a dexterous and innovative interpreter of the Word of God, ever intent on making the Bible accessible to the widest possible swath of humanity, so Griffin shows himself a witty and creative interpreter of the words of Augustine. In fact, so breezy is the sermonizing here that many turns of phrase beg the question: At what point does Augustine leave off and Griffin pick up?
The latter drops some helpful clues. The largest single section of Griffin's informative and entertaining foreword is an apologia for his use of the paraphrasal method of translation, rather than the literal, in turning ancient Latin into contemporary English. It's an approach that allows him to present Augustine as he might sound were he alive today.
Naturally, it also permits plenty of leeway for artistic indulgence. "Neither [men nor women] should give the Creator the finger," Griffin has the saint saying, "for that horrible trick he played on them in the Garden."
The bishop of Hippo may well have been similarly jarring in person. But would he have used so low-brow an expression -- in a homily? I'm not sure, but I'm giving Griffin a pass on that passage and several others in the same vein because, on the whole, Augustine in this brusque, thoroughly modern voice is so arresting and thought-provoking. There are worse ways to get good theology. And I've seen no better way to absorb Augustine for Advent.
"The angel delivered the message," we read. "Kindly the Virgin listened to it. Against her better judgment she believed it. The conception took place. Faith in her soul. Christ in her womb. And that's all there was to it. ... What storyteller -- the great Isaiah included -- could do Justice to a birth like that?"
If Augustine wasn't up to the job, neither is William Griffin. But what a joy their combined efforts are to read -- make that hear -- as Christmastide comes each year.
David Pearson is features editor of the National Catholic Register.