Confessions Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. What happens when men act wickedly?

2. Who is Adeodatus?

3. Why is Augustine's father is willing to shoulder large financial burdens?

4. How could Augustine's "journey" be categorized?

5. How does Augustine leave Carthage and his mother?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Augustine's parents want for him?

2. What does Augustine decide about reading Scripture and interpreting it?

3. What did Augustine wonder about in relationship to God and the world and what are a couple of the questions he asked?

4. How do the questions Augustine have about God and the world affect his faith?

5. Basically, what is Confessions about?

6. What are Augustine's reflections on life and death?

7. Where is Augustine a student in Carthage and why does he study so diligently?

8. What does Augustine say about his "sins" as a schoolboy and his teachers reaction to them?

9. Why did one of Augustine's friends abandon Christianity and what happens after that?

10. What does Augustine fear about the effect of studying pagan myths when he was young?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

It is mentioned in Book III that the Manicheans believe that when a fig is picked off a fig tree, it cries tears. Later, Augustine sees as ridiculous this idea and many others that the Manicheans believe. Discuss the following ideas:

1. Just because humans cannot measure how a plant experiences life, is that reason to believe that a tree cannot cry when its fruit is picked?

2. Many people (particularly Aboriginal peoples) do not adhere to the Judeo-Christian ideas of human beings as superior to all other of the created earth. When Augustine becomes a Christian, he seems to move from a nature-centered belief system to one that is man-centered. Do you see this as a step forward?

3. The second part to the Manichean beliefs of the fig tree is that they give the fig to their "Elect" people, who by eating it, the Manicheans believe, release angels from the fig. If what thought of this as a metaphor, what do you think the metaphor could represent?

Essay Topic 2

Augustine recalls that he was under a lot of peer pressure to seek sexual pleasure and to applaud those who seek it from his peers that he knew from his town and from school. Augustine remembers even inventing sexual exploits to tell his peers, just to impress them.

1. Do you think Augustine's feelings of pressure from his peers was valid? Why or why not?

2. Do you think young men today feel the same peer pressure Augustine felt? Why or why not?

3. Discuss your beliefs about how young people are subjected to peer pressure and what a young person can do about it.

Essay Topic 3

Augustine urges the church faithful to be righteous and to do good deeds, but not as a substitute for their faith. Their faith must be shown by their good deeds, and at the same time these good deeds must reflect their faith. This statement is a paradox.

1. Why do you think this statement could be classified as a paradox?

2. What do you think Augustine means by the statement above?

(see the answer keys)

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