We invite you to read the spiritual memoir Confessions by Augustine alongside our students, staff, and faculty, as part of Wheaton College’s Core Book program.
Turn Us to You: Reading Confessions
The Core Book program fosters a shared experience across the campus community as we read, reflect upon, and discuss together a significant work that highlights themes of Wheaton's Christ at the Core general education curriculum.
You are invited to join us in our common intellectual and spiritual experience as we encounter Augustine’s story of brokenness and redemption. Augustine confesses in his spiritual memoir both his sin and the beauty of God’s love and goodness. For many of us, reading Confessions will highlight the restlessness and selfishness of our souls while revealing our need for God’s grace to turn to him, reordering our loves toward him and his goodness.
Throughout the 2018-2019 academic year, there will be various opportunities to engage with Augustine’s Confessions and its themes through events on campus.
Augustine begins Confessions describing a universal problem: that our hearts are uneasy and restless until they come to rest upon God. Confessions offers a window in the human condition, trapped in sin and disordered loves. Through his own spiritual journey and conversion, Augustine points to the transformative power of scripture and God’s grace to work genuine change in God’s people.
Sarah Ruden’s new translation of Confessions offers a fresh take on an ancient book that honors Augustine’s intentions while speaking to us in 21st-century prose. Reading this classic raises enduring questions, such as: Do I know God? What do I desire? Will I be made whole? Can I be forgiven? and What is love? By reading and participating in the Core Book program, you will have the opportunity to enter into our community of learning and experience part of Christ at the Core.
Read: Recommended Books and Articles
Augustine with translation by Sarah Ruden, Confessions
Use these resources to guide your reading, contemplation, and discussion of Confessions.
Articles and Books for Further Reading
- Peter Brown, Augustine of Hippo: A Biography
- Duane K. Caylor, “Stealing Pears,” First Things
- Joseph Clair, “The Lost Purpose of Learning,” First Things
- Mark Lilla, “’Augustine: Conversions to Confessions,’ by Robin Lane Fox,” The New York Times
- Trevin Wax, “Augustine the Lover: Sarah Ruden’s New Translation of Confessions,” The Gospel Coalition
- Garry Wills, Augustine’s Confessions: A Biography (Lives of Great Religious Books)
Explore: Campus Events
Screening of Augustine: Son of Her Tears, Wednesday, Oct. 3 (7pm Barrows)
Co-Sponsored by the Communication Department, Core Studies, and the Wheaton Center for Early Christian Studies
Film produced by North Africans portraying the heritage and spiritual journey of Augustine to be followed by a faculty panel discussion.
Testify: Collecting Stories of Faith from the Wheaton College Community, Homecoming Weekend 2018, Oct. 5-6
Co-sponsored by Core Studies, Anthropology, History, and Sociology Departments, Alumni Association, and Wheaton College Archives
Members of the Wheaton College community are invited to tell part of their own spiritual autobiography while contributing to a new archival collection of alumni, faculty, staff, and student oral histories.
Turn Us to You, Augustine’s Confessions for the 21st Century
Wednesday-Thursday, Oct. 10-11 (7pm Barrows)
Co-sponsored by Core Studies, English, Modern and Classical Languages and Philosophy Departments, the Wheaton Center for Early Christian Studies
A symposium considering the enduring significance and relevance of Augustine’s Confessions for the modern reader.
- Wednesday, Oct. 10: Joseph Clair (George Fox University)
- Thursday, Oct. 11: Sarah Ruden (Visiting Scholar at Brown University, Translator)
The Confessions of St. Augustine: A Theater Piece
Thursday-Friday, Jan. 17-18 (7pm Arena Theater)
Co-sponsored by Core Studies, Arena Theater, and Communication Department
An evening featuring the work of a collaborative theater devising project in response to Augustine's Confessions.
We Create for You: Artistic Meditations on Confessions, Tuesday, Mar. 26 (7pm Pierce Chapel)
Co-sponsored by Core Studies, Conservatory, Art and English Departments
An evening of artistic explorations of the themes of Augustine's Confessions featuring the unveiling of the Pieced Together Mosaic, the work of Shawn Okpebholo, Miho Nonaka, Zoe's Feet, and more.
Learn: Additional Confessions Resources
- Sarah Borden, “Why Good will Always Triumph,” Wheaton College TowerTalk on Augustine and Suffering
- Garrett Brown, Interview with Sarah Ruden, New Books Network
- Gregory Lee, “Mass Incarceration in Theological Perspective,” Wheaton College TowerTalk on Augustine and a Christian Response to Mass Incarceration
- Paul Freedman, St. Augustine’s Confessions and the Early Middle Ages, Yale University Open Course on Early Middle Ages