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 Augustine find odd about Hortensius?

2. Why does Augustine want to move to Rome?

3. What is better to seek after than earthly pleasures?

4. How could Augustine's "journey" be categorized?

5. With what is Augustine in love?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

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

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

6. What is Augustine's thinking on marriage?

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

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

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

10. What do the Manicheans believe about food?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Though Augustine admits that he benefited from his studies of Latin and Greek literature, he resents how he was led astray morally by some of the stories. When he read of Zeus engaging in fornication and being powerful, it also made him want to do these deeds. So, already in boyhood, Augustine sees the struggle to form his moral judgment and not be led astray by popular stories or opinion.

1. Do you agree with Augustine's assertion about the influence the Greek and Latin literature had on his behavior? Why or why not?

2. In today's society there are people who assert that reading books about violent acts cause people to commit violent acts. Do you agree with this idea? Why or why not?

3. How do you think this idea of Augustine's about being led astray has influenced the justice system of the western world?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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