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Confessions: Book V – Chapters 1 – 7

Uyghur Manichaean clergymen

Uyghur Manichaean clergymen, wall painting from the Khocho ruins, 10th/11th century AD. Located in the Museum für Indische Kunst, Berlin-Dahlem.


Book V follows the young Augustine (he was around 29 years old at this time) from Carthage (where he finds his students too rowdy for his liking) to Rome (where he finds them too corrupt) and on to Milan, where he will remain until his conversion.

He spends most of the first half of this book recounting his encounter with Faustus, a Manichee luminary.

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UPDATE: “Confessions: Book II”

“St. Augustine”, Michelangelo Caravaggio (1592-1610) , c. 1600, National Gallery of Canada

Here are our responses to Book II of Augustine’s Confessions.

We discussed the nature of sin and why if often feels good to us when we commit the act; the difference between lust and love; what role, if any, our free will plays in salvation; whether or not we are all born with a sense of morality (or right and wrong) within us, including a sense of the divine or God already ‘prebuilt’ within us; and the influence of neoplatonic thought on not only Augustine, but on Western Christian thought.

You can read our essays here.