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Augustine of Hippo: Confessions Books VII, VIII, IX, X

The turning point of Augustine’s quest for God comes to a definitive turning point with his conversion.  The non-spectacular description of this all-important event is generally acknowledged as a proof of its authenticity and spiritual depth. 

For our next get-together, we will read Book VII, VIII, IX, and X. 

The Fra Angelico depiction of Augustine’s Conversion captures our hero in a moment of intense recollection.  The artist takes good advantage of the historical fact (the event did take place in a garden) to imbue the setting with an unmistakable paradisial ambiance.  We are witnessing a kind of re-creation.  Only sly symbols here and there – like the peacock (symbol of the eternal life) or mountainous background – mountain as the traditional meeting place with the divinity - reveal that the event is  spiritual.  Intentional lack of realistic proportions intensifies viewer’s awareness of the hidden power of Augustine’s conversion.


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