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 does Alypius finally give up doing?

2. Who does Augustine arrange to marry?

3. Where does Augustine go to study?

4. For what is the stealing of the pear a metaphor?

5. Who is Adeodatus?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Augustine says he wrote Confessions for what reason?

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

4. What does Augustine believe about the men in the Bible and how does he apply that to people in general?

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

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

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

8. What type of job does Augustine do and where does he get his money?

9. What is Augustine's primary thoughts of when he arrives in Carthage and what does he do with them?

10. What does Augustine foreshadow about philosophy and himself?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In Book V, Monica has an irrational urge to keep Augustine with her and not let him go to Rome. This incident symbolizes the struggle that all human beings have to control their fleshly desires in favor of their love of God. Discuss the following ideas:

1. For Augustine, is spirituality incompatible with physical life/pleasure (e.g., eating, sex, art, etc.)? Does his ideas about this change over the course of the Confessions?

2. Why do you think Augustine would say that physical life exists if it is incompatible with spirituality?

3. According to Augustine, can someone be highly spiritual and still "indulge" in the pleasures of physical life? What do you think personally?

Essay Topic 2

Augustine compares the Trinity to these three things: existence, knowledge, and will. Augustine does this because he is a being that exists, and that both knows and wills.

1. What do you think Augustine means by existence, knowledge and will?

2. Do you agree with Augustine that he can know what the Trinity is because he has existence, knowledge, and will? Why or why not?

3. Do you think only humans have existence, knowledge, and will or do animals? Explain your reasoning.

Essay Topic 3

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.

(see the answer keys)

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