The Conversion of Augustine

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By Romano Guardini

The Conversion of Augustine

“With an incredible intensity of desire I longed after immortal wisdom. I had begun that journey upwards by which I was to return to You.” Thus does St. Augustine of Hippo describe his response to encountering Cicero’s philosophical tract Hortensius: an occasion of returning to God. Such occasions will prove numerous and varied over the decades-long pursuit for wisdom and purity, culminating in the timeless testimony of The Confessions to the conversion of Augustine. In these pages, Romano Guardini adds nothing to already-existent, voluminous historical research on the saint; choosing instead to present Augustine’s “personality and thought in the everlasting form of his writings as a perennial possibility of Christian existence.”

The Conversion of Augustine is primarily an interpretation of Augustine himself and secondarily an interpretation of The Confessions, the germinal work in a prodigious career. Together, these two levels of interpretation produce an excellent guide not only to Augustine’s Christian destiny, but also to his works, thus achieving its author’s goal of revealing the archetypal Christian pursuit of self-knowledge in the light of faith.

Romano Guardini (1885–1968) was a Catholic priest, professor, and author, whose intellectual disciples include Josef Pieper, Luigi Giussani, and Joseph Ratzinger. He held professorships of theology and philosophy at the University of Berlin, University of Tübingen, and University of Munich. Among Guardini’s many published works are The Spirit of the Liturgy, The Humanity of Christ, and The Meaning of the Church.

Paperback: 221pp.

ISBN: 978-1952826467