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 he prefer that sect at that time in his life?

2. Why does Augustine read books of rhetoric?

3. How does Augustine later view the Manichean myths?

4. With what is Augustine in love?

5. Why does Augustine wish his family had arranged a marriage for him?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. How does Monica feel about Augustine moving and how does he get around her?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

10. Basically, what is Confessions about?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

When Moses wrote down the Holy Scriptures, he had to make them understandable, says Augustine. Moses also needed them to convey a deeper meaning to scholars and truth-seekers. The simple people think of the story of creation in a simple way, which is literal and materialistic.

1. Do you believe scholars are better able to understand religious writings than lay people? Why or why not?

2. Explain a situation in which you have read something you didn't understand.

3. What do you think Augustine means by "literal and materialistic" in the above sentence?

Essay Topic 2

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?

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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