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 does Augustine view the holy men of the Bible?

2. Who writes Hortensius?

3. Why does he prefer that sect at that time in his life?

4. What is Augustine's native language?

5. Why is Augustine unable to believe in Jesus?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

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

4. How does Augustine's initial conversion to Christianity come about?

5. What happens with Augustine and the Manicheans and why?

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

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

8. What does Augustine say is the difference between how the simple-minded and intellectuals read and understand the Scriptures?

9. What type of religion ensnares Augustine's interest?

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

In Book III, Monica, Augustine's mother, tries to get Augustine to stop his wrong religious beliefs and life, but can't get him to change. Discuss the following ideas:

1. What are the pitfalls of one person trying to persuade another to believe the way the person believes?

2. Why do you think Monica is so desperate to have Augustine convert to her religion?

3. Obviously, parents behave in a similar fashion then as now, i.e., not "allowing" their adult children to go their own way. Do you think Monica is wrong in this?

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

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?

(see the answer keys)

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