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Publisher's Summary

How should parents raise children, and how should schools educate children? Why are we attracted to things that are forbidden? What is time? How can we understand God, or the nature of evil? What is true friendship? To answer these questions, Professors Cook and Herzman look to the Confessions of St. Augustine of Hippo.
Over the course of 24 fascinating lectures, you'll study this great book's staggering influence on Christianity and Western civilization, seeing how it provided a source of inspiration for such noted thinkers and writers as Petrarch, Dante, and Martin Luther. Even though the Confessions is more than 1,500 years old, it still speaks to us and has the capacity to change our lives.
The professors trace the narrative of Augustine's early life and the key events that led to his Christian conversion at age 31. In a succession of stories that are as powerful as any in world literature, Augustine seeks to understand the same issues in his life that many people try to understand in theirs, arriving at profound conclusions that offer stunning insight into our psychology and morality and challenge us to become wiser and better people.
This course is a superb springboard and companion guide to your reading and rereading of one of history's singular books: one that will challenge and stimulate your mind and provide a framework through which to find true understanding, value, and meaning in your life.
©2004 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2004 The Great Courses
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Customer Reviews

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By Timothy on 10-22-13

An Excellent Overview!

I listened to this alongside an audible edition of Augustine's Confessions in preparation for teaching this text at the undergraduate level. I was a bit worried about the team teaching approach at first, as both Herzman and Cook interject on each lecture, but I found they did a marvelous job of bouncing thoughts off of each other and furthering discussion. I have listened to five or so "Great Courses" on audible and this has been my favorite thus far.

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12 of 12 people found this review helpful


By Amazon Customer on 10-15-13

Highly Recommended!!

Firstly I need to disagree with one of the other reviewers regarding having two people give the lecture. Of course this is personal preference, but Herzman and Cook make a great "tag team". It breaks up what could be monotony with different voices, comments, to some extent style, and yet it does not - in my opinion - break up the compelling flow of the narrative.

The voices are clear and easily understandable, and most importantly, this is a true lecture, not someone reading a book. It is dynamic, has the odd pauses and corrections (the wrong word is said and it is then corrected), making it "real".

Their insights into Augustine are hugely interesting. I had read the Confessions and had to say I was not understanding what all the fuss was about. However, with the insights provided here, I will go back and re-read. And, it is a great price. I have the monthly subscription with Audible and this lecture was one credit.

Five out of five, ten out of ten.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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By Tara on 06-23-16

Absolutely Fabulous!

I was hooked from the very start. There's no doubt the fascinating and highly intelligent St Augustine, through sheer hard thinking, can enlighten us all. Brilliantly presented. I want to go back to the beginning and listen to it all over again immediately. Thank you Ron and Bill!

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful


By Stephen Callaghan on 08-07-17

Brilliant, entertaining exegesis of the text.

Really enjoyed this. The enthusiastic delivery of the two lecturers who present each lecture as a duo, really holds the listeners attention.

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Customer Reviews

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By rhys on 10-19-16

Thanks again ron and will

A very complex text; however, the lectures do a wonderful job in decrypting some very clever text. Well done...again

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By Amazon Customer on 04-28-16

Great insight into one of Christianity's

I've recently become a fan of Professor Cook & Herzman's. I must say that every lecture they bring out is very thoughtful, inspiring, insightful.

This one in particular is most inspiring. St. Augustine's thought was so honest and rich. And his questions and methods are interesting to think about. Would love to read the Confessions and come back to this lecture.
Highly recommended this lecture.

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