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. Why does Augustine find a woman to live with him while his fiance is too young?

2. Instead of studying the literal meaning of a phrase what is important to study?

3. How does Augustine leave Carthage and his mother?

4. What happens when men act wickedly?

5. With what is Augustine in love?

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Augustine say is the difference between how the simple-minded and intellectuals read and understand the Scriptures?

2. How has Augustine solved the problem of his lust and what is the result of this solution?

3. What does Augustine feel the pear tree incident symbolized?

4. What kind of pressure does Augustine feel as a young person and what does he do about it?

5. What did Augustine write about that involved a theft of pears and how did he feel about it?

6. What intensifies as Augustine grows into a young man and of what type of behavior does he indulge?

7. Who teaches Augustine about astrology and what does he say?

8. How does Augustine's initial conversion to Christianity come about?

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

10. Basically, what is Confessions about?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In Book III, Augustine wonders on the lack of even the basic morality of observance of the Ten Commandments in his vicinity.

1. Of what do you think Augustine believes basic morality consists? Give examples from the text and your personal experience.

2. Do you think Augustine sees a lack of morals because he himself suffers from that lack? In other words, is Augustine projecting his own lack of morals on those around him? Why or why not?

3. Research the ten commandments and choose the two you think Augustine has the most difficulty at this point in his life keeping. What are they? Give examples to demonstrate why you think he does not keep those commandments.

Essay Topic 2

There is no harm in having different interpretations of the Scriptures, at least as long as various heresies are avoided, according to Augustine. If two people both believe in the word of God, it can even be fruitful to have a debate about different interpretations of the Scriptures.

1. Why do you think different people have different interpretations of religious writings?

2. Do you think different interpretations of writings apply to writings other than religious ones? Explain your reasoning.

3. Discuss the problem with language and why it might lead to different interpretations of the same writings.

Essay Topic 3

In Book III, Augustin, in reading the philosopher Cicero's book, called Hortensius, first finds in himself the love for truth, or from the Greek derivation, philosophy.

1. Do you think Augustine at this point in his life sees any conflict between philosophy and religion? Why or why not?

2. Do you think later in his life Augustine sees any conflict between philosophy and religion? Why or why not?

3. At the point of Book III, what do you think Augustine sees as the purpose of philosophy? Does this change when he becomes a Christian?

(see the answer keys)

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