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. How is Augustine a paradox within himself?

2. What drives Augustine farther away from thoughts of God?

3. What does Augustine teach?

4. What happens to a friend who is ill and unconscious?

5. In what is Augustine particularly interested?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What is Augustine's thinking on marriage?

4. As a young man how does Augustine feel about love and what doesn't he understand about it?

5. Where does Augustine want to move and why?

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

7. Augustine says he wrote Confessions for what reason?

8. Basically, what is Confessions about?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

In book VII, Augustine rejects astrology after speaking to an old man Vindicianus, and also due to the arguments of his friend Nebridius. They both say that the predictions of astrologists are purely a matter of chance, plus taking into account a person's condition, wealth, and circumstances. Discuss one of the following ideas:

1. What do you think Augustine's Christian beliefs would say about the concept of astrology? Use examples from the text and your own knowledge.

2. Why do you think many people in those times believed in astrology? Do you think the people who believe in astrology today do so for the same reasons?

3. Do you think science has disproved the validity of astrology? Why or why not? Discuss thoroughly.

4. What do you think about the thoughts of Augustine's two friends who say that the predictions of astrologists are purely a matter of chance, plus taking into account a person's condition, wealth, and circumstances?

(see the answer keys)

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