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 Post subject: Confessions
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 2:31 pm 
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Okay, after having it on my 'to read eventually' list for nearly 2 decades, I decided to finally read the Confessions by St. Augustine.

Can someone explain to me how the last 4 books, which talk about some basic questions of epistemology and Biblical hermeneutics have to do with the first 9 books in which h recounts his autobiography (albeit in a very abbreviated fashion)? This is extremely weird, it's like these are two completely different books that have crammed into one volume for no apparent reason.

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 Post subject: Re: Confessions
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 8:25 pm 
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13 books actually.

Bear in mind that was long time before we were able to publish. Just like the Bible that has many books. We are able to publish just one volume from many Biblical books.

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 Post subject: Re: Confessions
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 8:43 pm 
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I think he's switching from recounting his memories to thinking about what memories are in general, and then taking off from there. But I've never been able to make it all the way through, so I'm just passing on what I vaguely recall having heard elsewhere.

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 Post subject: Re: Confessions
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 9:21 pm 
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Obi-Wan Kenobi wrote:
I think he's switching from recounting his memories to thinking about what memories are in general, and then taking off from there. But I've never been able to make it all the way through, so I'm just passing on what I vaguely recall having heard elsewhere.


Yes, he does that, and then after he discusses those epistemological questions about memory, questions he raises but never even attempts to answer, he goes on to discuss the creation account in Genesis and how the account shouldn't be taken literally because a strictly literal interpretation would make for bad science (1400 years before Darwin Augustine realized that young-Earth creationism was bad science!) and therefore the only possible interpretation must be allegorical, and then he discusses how to interpret the first two chapters of Genesis allegorically. Don't tell Pax!


Anyway, I completely understand what he is talking about, I just don't understand what any of it has to do with the autobiographical parts that came earlier. There doesn't seem to be any connection at all, it's as if Augustine invented the 'stream of consciousness' style of writing 1500 years before James Joyce or William Faulkner.

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 Post subject: Re: Confessions
PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 9:23 pm 
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lbt wrote:
13 books actually.

.


That is what I said, the first 9 books are essentially a spiritual autobiography, then the next 4 books are about epistemology and the allegorical interpretation of Genesis, which doesn't seem to have anything to do with the first 9 books.

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 Post subject: Re: Confessions
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 8:58 pm 
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I think it would be best to study the summary of The Confessions.

Cliff Notes has the book summary, followed by a summary of each chapter:

https://www.cliffsnotes.com/literature/ ... ok-summary

Of course, at the end he was talking more about theology and philosophy on the relationships between the creation and the Creator.

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 Post subject: Re: Confessions
PostPosted: Sun Jul 22, 2018 9:59 pm 
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Doom wrote:
lbt wrote:
13 books actually.

.


That is what I said, the first 9 books are essentially a spiritual autobiography, then the next 4 books are about epistemology and the allegorical interpretation of Genesis, which doesn't seem to have anything to do with the first 9 books.



If you like, you can think The Confessions as two volumes. The First volume is on nine books, and the second volume books 10 through 13.

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