Item description for A Reader's Companion to Augustine's Confessions by Kim Paffenroth & Robert Kennedy...
Overview This book is a tool for teaching and studying the great Christian classic, Augustine's Confessions. It is a unique venture in which thirteen different scholars look at each of the thirteen books in the Confessions and interpret their chapters in light of that book and in light of the rest of Augustine's work. The result is that the richness and ambiguity of Augustine's work shines through as well as the richness and ambiguity of different readings of the Confessions.
This book is a tool for teaching and studying the great Christian classic, Augustine's "Confessions." It is a unique venture in which thirteen different scholars look at each of the thirteen books in the "Confessions" and interpret their chapters in light of that book and in light of the rest of Augustine's work. The result is that the richness and ambiguity of Augustine's work shines through as well as the richness and ambiguity of different readings of the "Confessions."
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.14" Width: 6.06" Height: 0.82" Weight: 0.96 lbs.
Release Date Jan 1, 2003
Publisher Westminster John Knox Press
ISBN 0664226191 ISBN13 9780664226190
Availability 0 units.
More About Kim Paffenroth & Robert Kennedy
Kim Paffenroth is Assistant Professor of Religious Studies at Iona College in New Rochelle, New York.
Kim Paffenroth was born in 1966.
Kim Paffenroth has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about A Reader's Companion to Augustine's Confessions?
Augustine rediscovered Nov 17, 2003
Augustine's 'Confessions' is among the most important books ever written. One of the first autobiographical works in the modern sense, it also represents the first time a psychological and theological enterprise were combined. It also helps to bridge the gap between the Classical world and the Medieval world, exhibiting strong elements identifying with each of those major historical periods.
Most undergraduates in the liberal arts encounter the book at some point; all seminarians do (or should!). Many adults find (or rediscover) the book later, after school. For many in these categories, there are concepts, narrative strands and historical data new and unusual for them. Notes, commentaries and guides are called for - this book by Paffenroth and Kennedy is a good one in many respects.
This book does not represent the thinking and analysis of one (or two) primary authors. Instead, Paffenroth and Kennedy have drawn together an outstanding team of Augustinian scholars to each focus upon one book (or chapter) of the thirteen that comprise the 'Confessions'. They do not look for one overarching theme (or even several) and then try to force the text into that narrow confine; rather, they let each book speak for itself, each one through the interpretative and scholarly lens of a different observer. Each essay can stand on its own - they are not interdependent, but they do all address the same topic, and thus relate in that basic way.
In many respects, this variation-viewing of 'Confessions' suits Augustine's personality well - he was a passionate person, but his focus wavered for much of his life until finally settling upon Christianity and the neoplatonic synthesis with this faith. Even while remaining a passionate Christian and rejecting the sort of dualism present in the Manichee teachings, he varied between various positions within these systems. The authors are conservative and liberal, young and old, Catholic and Protestant. Augustine's varied thought reaches through many denominational and scholarly paradigms.
These are not Cliff's Notes - they do not represent simple synopses of the books in the 'Confessions'. The authors assume the reader of this text will be reading (or will have read) the actual text of the 'Confessions'. These essays are relatively short (the longest is 18 pages) but insightful and engaging. There are extensive endnotes for those whose interest is more scholarly (35 pages of endnotes, to be exact - almost twice the number of pages of the longest chapter), but the texts of the essays can be read without these notes perfectly well for the more casual reader.
The book includes at the end suggestions for further reading, a list which includes some classic standards (Brown, Chadwick) and other pieces that were new to me. There are indexes for scripture and for subjects, and a brief biographical paragraph on each of the contributing authors.
This is a book that will be of interest to novice readers of Augustine as well as scholars, to students, clergy and laypersons, and anyone else who might have an historical, literary, philosophical, theological or other interest in Augustine - something for everyone, perhaps?