Confessions: Commentary on Books 1-7
Clarendon Press, 1992 - 484 pages
The Confessions of Augustine have long both demanded and eluded the sustained and serious attention to detail that a scholarly commentary can provide. This new work in three volumes is a major new reference in Augustine scholarship. A revised Latin text of the Confessions in Volume I forms the basis for a detailed line-by-line commentary (Volumes II and III) designed to elucidate the many layers of meaning in the work. Extensive quotation and abundant citation of Augustine's own writings, of the scriptural texts that were never far from his mind, and of the works of his intellectual forebears (chief among them Cicero, Plotinus, and Ambrose) are meant to provide one essential context for reading the Confessions. Placing the emphasis primarily on exegesis, O'Donnell opens up new lines of interpretation, and gives a wealth of fresh detail to some more familiar themes. The place of the Confessions in Augustine's own life and in the history of Christian literature is also discussed and illuminated.
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