Confessions Test | Lesson Plans Mid-Book Test - Hard

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Mid-Book Test - Hard

Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

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

Short Answer Questions

1. What is the Fables of Manes?

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

3. How does Augustine possibly cross the boundaries between friendship and sex?

4. What sort of philosophy does Augustine have?

5. Who is Fautus?

Short Essay Questions

1. How does Augustine describe wisdom?

2. By the beginning of Book VII, how does Augustine begin to think of God?

3. What does Augustine say about the past, future and present?

4. What does Augustine say about his mother's upbringing and some of her behaviors as a married woman?

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

6. What gives Augustine an excuse to continue following his baser desires?

7. To what does Augustine compare the lower orders of human consciousness? What about the higher order?

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

9. Who is Victorinus and what has he done in his life?

10. How does Augustine feel about the Christianity he comes in contact with and what does he observe about the morals of Christians?

Essay 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

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 3

In book V, Augustine wants to move to Rome, in Italy. He hears that the students are much more disciplined there. In Carthage, students would walk in and out of class during a lecture and certain students would be very disruptive. Augustine hears that this type of behavior is not tolerated at schools in Rome.

1. Compare and contrast students in that age to those in the present day.

2. What do you think it means to be a "student?" Give examples and think about this idea "outside the box." Can you relate your ideas to Augustine as a student?

3. What do you think it means to be a "teacher?" Give examples and think about this idea "outside the box." Can you relate your ideas to Augustine as a teacher?

(see the answer keys)

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