The Genre of Augustine's Confessions

Augustine's Confessions is a species of prayer and praise, yet the work is also an autobiographical testimony. Make sure you read over each passage. As you do, ask yourself, what is Augustine saying about the purpose and nature of his book?

1.5 -- Augustine prays that his soul will be a house for God to inhabit, yet he recognizes that it needs to be enlarged; confession in part makes this possible.
2.1 - Love of God's love leads to confession.
11.1 -- Yet God already knows these things; rather, we confess for our own hearts, for others, and in obedience to God.
10.1-2 -- We confess in order to know ourselves better, which leads to repentance and eventually joy. Confession is for self-examination.
10.3 -- The danger is that readers will listen in on Augustine's work in order to satisfy their own voyeuristic appetites, yet the work may also act as a witness to those who do not follow God.
10.4a -- Augustine's confessions allow other followers of God to join in thanksgiving for God's providence, mercy, and grace.
10.4b-5 -- Confessions teaches us more about our own mortality and deepens Augustine's understanding of his own spiritual state.

"All manner of thing shall be well/ When the tongues of flame are in-folded/ Into the crowned knot of fire/ And the fire and the rose are one." -- T.S. Eliot, Little Gidding