The major portion of St. Augustine’s literary output listed, accounted for, and criticized by the author himself—such is The Retractions, published in English translation for the first time. As the aged Augustine reread his extensive production, he sought to identify and to report to his widely scattered readership anything in his writings that had offended him or might offend others. In achieving this purpose, Augustine produced a book scarcely to be matched in world literature.
Happily, it was toward the end of his life that the busy Bishop of Hippo set to this review; thus, but few of his “books” fail here to receive his searching self-criticism. His letters and sermons are in general not dealt with; they were to be covered in further parts of the Retractations that Augustine did not live to achieve.
The extensive notes that the translator furnishes supply the background to Augustine’s own discussion of each one of his 93 books, and both analyze and synthesize the bishop’s large and wide-ranging production.
In the Logos edition, this work becomes enhanced by amazing functionality. Links to the patristic writings of the Early Church Fathers will bring you right to the source—to the very quote—allowing you to see instant context. Footnotes appear on mouseover, as well as references to Scripture and extra-biblical material in your library, and you can perform near-instant searches across these volumes, searching for references to keywords or Scripture passages.
Augustine of Hippo (AD 354–430) was born in Thagaste, Numidia, in Northern Africa. He studied rhetoric in Carthage when he was 17. As an adult, Augustine abandoned the Christianity of his youth to pursue Manichaeism. Through his Manichaean connections, Augustine became professor of rhetoric at the imperial court of Milan. While in Milan, Augustine was heavily influenced by the bishop of Milan, Ambrose. This influence led Augustine to begin exploring Christianity, and eventually he reconverted. He was baptized in AD 387 and returned to Africa. There he was ordained and became and eventually became bishop of Hippo, an office he held until his death in AD 430. Throughout his ministerial career was a party to multiple controversies, including the Aryan and Pelagian controversies. He was a staunch defender and advocate of Nicene orthodoxy and is one of the church’s most influential pastor-theologians.