Confessions I
I. 1, 1.
Why does Augustine focus on mortality in the first lines of the Confessions?

Who does God "thwart"?

I. 2, 2.
What is more proper, according to Augustine, to say that:
a. I would not exist if     you were not in me
b  I would not exist if     I were not in you.

What is the difference? Why is he making such a big deal about this?

I. 3, 3.
Augustine is at pains to sort out the relationship of God to the heavens and the earth. What is his solution?

I. 4, 4.
What are you then my God?

The closing lines of this section are perplexing.
Augustine issues a warning to whom?

Who does God "wear down"?

I. 5, 5.
In this section Augustine introduces a theme which will permeate the text:
He asks a rhetorical question:
"Is not the failure to love you woe enough in itself?"
What exactly does woe mean here and what is Augustine suggesting about it?
(Compare sections:Bk I: 12 (last lines) &18 (near the end).)

I. 6.
How does Augustine return to and reiterate the theme of mortality with which he opened this book?
And why might he do it here at this point in the text?


I. 6, 7.
Why might Augustine begin talking about mockery and laughter at this stage of the narrative?
Why, under the heading of Infancy, does Augustine again equate life with death?
Pay close attention to Augustine's use of the phrase "I do not remember it..."

I. 8.
According to Augustine who is the better judge of his infancy?
a. Augustine
b. the nurses who raised him

I. 9.
At which of Augustine's questions might God be laughing?

I. 10.

What is the relationship of being and living?

What is the difference between God's "today" and human's "today?"

I. 7, 11.
" one is free from sin in your sight, not even an infant whose span of life is a single day..."
"...the minds of infants are far from innocent..."
Respond to Augustine on these assertions.

I. 12.
What irks or annoys Augustine?


I. 8, 13.
Who taught Augustine how to speak?
How did Augustine grasp at words?


I. 9, 14.
Compare Augustine's assessment of his teachers to Socrates' assessment of his fellow Athenians.

Who is doing the laughing now?

I. 15.
Augustine will mention his true love several times in the following pages.

Again, compare Augustine's assessment of his teachers to Socrates' assessment of his fellow Athenians.

I. 10, 16.
Is curiosity good?


I. 11, 17.
God stooped even to our ________?
How did God stoop?
How is eternal life promised to us?

I. 18.
What does Augustine want to know about the deferral?

I. 12, 19.
Can someone be considered good if they are doing good acts without doing them willingly?

Matters are so arranged at your command that every disordered soul is its own _____________?


I. 13, 20.
Notice the crying and shedding of tears in these sections. What are they meant to tell us?

I. 21.
"To pander to this world is to fornicate against you," what is the significance of these lines?

I. 22.
What is behind the curtains at the literature schools?
Curtain #1= prestige of elite instruction
Curtain #2= error

I. 14, 23.
Pay close attention to the section dealing with curiosity.

Students learn better by:
a. force and pestering
b. a free play of curiosity

I. 15, 24.

I. 16, 25.
Why is human custom described as a flood?

I. 26.
What is the hellish river?

Think of Socrates' opening speech as you approach the final paragraph of this section.

I. 17, 27.
What might Socrates think of Augustine's victory at the contest? of his speech now?

I. 18, 28.
What kind of people were set up for Augustine as models?
They preferred to avoid errors in ________ than errors in _____________.
What might Socrates think of such people?

Bonus question: Attend closely to Augustine's reading of the prodigal son and explicate its significance.

I. 29.
In I. 12, 19. Augustine had said that: Matters are so arranged at your command that every disordered soul is its own _____________;
how do the lines about the human being "who harbors hostile intent" mirror the meaning of the earlier phrase?


 I. 19, 30.
Augustine believed that living a good life consisted in _____________________?
What actions does Augustine admit to having done?


I. 20, 31.
Augustine claims to have retained a "trace" of _____________ in himself and he also claims to have had a lively _____________?

Back to Tadie Home
Back to Augustine Page