Author(s): James J. O'Donnell
'A swashbuckling, stimulating, immensely readable portrait of a great but flawed genius. Both its iconoclasm and its academic credentials will mean this is the new 'must read' book for the Augustine industry ... Absorbing and brilliant.' - Herald Nearly 1600 years after his death, Augustine's masterwork Confessions continues to be read by an astonishing variety of people. The stories of his life resonate deeply across all kinds of borders. Born in Algeria in 354AD, this trail-blazing churchman towers over the landscapes of western cultures. He invented sin almost single-handedly. He is responsible for many of the ways in which we think about gods, religion, politics and psychology. Between 397 and 401, he wrote the Confessions - a widely profound, intimate work of meditation on his own identity, his pasts and his future. What strengths of character and twists of fate, or perhaps 'predestination' propelled the son of a minor landowner, with no money to speak of and few connections, to become a powerful leader and eloquent shaper of affairs in his own time? Beyond dogma, what is Augustine's legacy for global history? James J. O'Donnell offers provocative insights into a mesmerising figure who turns out to be more complex, more important and perhaps more interesting than even readers of the Confessions suspect. First published 2005. About the Author : James J. O'Donnell is Professor of Classics and Provost of Georgetown University in Washington, DC. He is one of the world's experts on Augustine and among much else editor of the definitve Oxford Latin edition of Confessions.