The Process of the Confessions: Chronology in St. Augustine's Work College
In Confessions of Saint Augustine, the reader is presented with many puzzles and seeming contradictions in terms of the structure of the work and how it mirrors, or does not mirror, Augustine’s spiritual journey. Some have argued that the book is carefully arranged in order to mirror what could be considered a Platonic ascent towards rediscovery, self-discovery, and what we would now call self-actualization. The book is arranged according to a deep structure. This essay focuses on the ways in which understanding this macro-level structure of the book reveals additional insight into the arguments Augustine makes in the book’s pages. Working chronologically through the book’s pages, the reader can trace the journey of St. Augustine from his infancy to his relationship with God; at the same time, the imposition of chronology is something of a red herring because Augustine believes that God has always been there with him: however, it is only through the process of introspection and prayer that Augustine is able to ascend to the relationship he enjoys with God
The first book of the Confessions focuses on asking questions and on reinforcing the images of Augustine as a young child. Grateful to his parents, he connects the idea of God...
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