Saint Augustine's Sin by Garry Wills
(Confessiones)

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Synopsis

According to Pulitzer Prize winner Garry Wills, most readers of Augustine interpret his meditation on sin in the Confessiones as an indication of his obsession with sex. But as Wills suggests in his discussion of book two of Augustine's influential work, sexual transgression is not Augustine's main focus as he reflects on the nature of human sinfulness. Instead, Augustine seeks to understand man's power to transgress-how it is that good creatures can choose evil deeds. He describes his own shame after participating in a minor theft as a teenager and interprets this act-and all other acts of sin-in light of the three founding sins of the Bible: the fallen angels' rebellion, the temptation of Adam, and Cain's fratricide.

With a brilliant introduction and notes throughout, this is a rewarding interpretation of a seminal work translated with new vividness and authority.
 

About Garry Wills

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Garry Wills, 1934 - Garry Wills was born in Atlanta, Georgia in 1934. Wills received a B.A. from St. Louis University in 1957, an M.A. from Xavier University of Cincinnati in 1958, an M.A. (1959) and a Ph.D. (1961) in classics from Yale. Wills was a junior fellow of the Center for Hellenic Studies from 1961-62, an associate professor of classics and adjunct professor of humanities at Johns Hopkins University from 1962-80. Wills was the first Washington Irving Professor of Modern American History and Literature at Union College, and was also a Regents Professor at the University of California in Santa Barbara, Silliman Seminarist at Yale, Christian Gauss Lecturer at Princeton, W.W. Cook Lecturer at the University of Michigan Law School, Hubert Humphrey Seminarist at Macalester College, Welch Professor of American Studies at Notre Dame University and Henry R. Luce Professor of American Culture and Public Policy at Northwestern University (1980-88). Wills is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and his articles appear frequently in The New York Review of Books. Wills is the author of "Lincoln at Gettysburg," which won the Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction in 1993 and the NEH Presidential Medal, "John Wayne's America," "A Necessary Evil: A History of American Distrust of Government" and "The Kennedy Imprisonment." Other awards received by Wills include the National Book Critics Award, the Merle Curti Award of the organization of American Historians, the Wilbur Cross Medal from Yale Graduate School, the Harold Washington Book Award and the Peabody Award for excellence in broadcasting, which was for writing and narrating the 1988 "Frontline" documentary "The Candidates.
 
Published November 10, 2003 by Viking Adult. 128 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Religion & Spirituality. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Saint Augustine's Sin

Kirkus Reviews

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Fourth and last volume (after Saint Augustine's Sin, 2003, etc.) of classicist/historian Wills's translation of Augustine's Confessions, a key document of the early church.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Saint Augustine's Sin (Confes...

Publishers Weekly

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In his third volume of translations from "Saint Augustine's Confessions," Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Wills again questions whether this document is really about sexual debauchery.

Sep 29 2003 | Read Full Review of Saint Augustine's Sin (Confes...

Publishers Weekly

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In a famous passage from the Testimony (as Wills calls the Confessions), Augustine exclaims with great passion how Cicero's Hortensius was the book that ""altered my prayers, Lord, to be toward yourself."" Wills narrates Augustine's development from his youthful years of pear-stealing to his educ...

| Read Full Review of Saint Augustine's Sin (Confes...

Publishers Weekly

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In his third volume of translations from "Saint Augustine's Confessions," Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Wills again questions whether this document is really about sexual debauchery.

| Read Full Review of Saint Augustine's Sin (Confes...

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