1.Briefly (with at least 300 words) respond to: St. Augustine, from Confessions
Augustine (or St. Augustine, in the Christian tradition) is the first writer to foreground his own life in a book and widely regarded as an inventor of autobiography as a genre (though biography was a long-established genre, usually reserved for the lives of military and political figures). What does Augustine’s use of biography do to develop his religious views? How does it shift a reader’s thinking about his place in the world? his place in God’s creation? How does the form of Augustine’s book help advance his ideas? In what ways does the Christianity that Augustine is presenting (as one of the church’s earliest theologians) transform the value of personal identity – and of autobiography?
2. Review to the response below (in 100 words):
“The way that Augustine writes his biography is very crucial so that we can see his beliefs through his eyes. What seems like diary entries, can be considered his autobiography, or even a dialogue as his exact words to God. While reading this, I was picturing a prayer being written down, or just a simple conversation with God through paper. The way that Augustine is able to view his infancy to childhood stages were outstanding, as they helped me to think of view points that I have not thought of before. My favorite was, “And when I was not obeyed, either because I was not understood or because what I wanted might harm me, I became indignant with the adults for not submitting to me, indignant with those who were not my slaves for not serving me and avenged myself by crying.” This could be seen as a first sin that a baby can do, by crying because certain adults were not tending to him. Thinking outside of the box too, as he was talking about getting food as a baby, that it was not his mother giving him milk, but God giving his mother milk, so that he could drink it. I think that the form of his book helps it advance his ideas because the readers may have gone through similar situations that they can relate to and better understand. As I was reading this, I also thought about a time when my parents wanted to go with me to my first day at college, but it was my time to grow up and experience life for myself and I urged them to stay at home. I think that this shows with it being called confessions, that one needs to confess their sins and speak openly with God if they want forgiveness. We are fortunate that he wrote these down in his book because it is a great foundation for autobiographies.”