Augustine's Confessions is an autobiographical account of his journey from a modest childhood in North Africa, through his conversion in a garden in Milan, to a lengthy and distinguished career as the Bishop of Hippo. Using enormous literary and rhetorical skill, Augustine chronicles a story of education and miseducation and narrates a spiritual quest from the wasteland of sin to the liberation of salvation. The freedom that emerges permits him to move from faith to understanding and to understand the ultimate underpinnings of the relationship between God and the soul. The impact of the Confessions on subsequent Christian theology, literature, history, and philosophy, in both the Catholic and Protestant traditions, is unparalleled.
1600 years later, the 2001 Pruit Memorial Symposium will commemorate this monumental text and celebrate its profound influence. We are pleased to announce that Scott MacDonald (Cornell University), John Smith (Yale University), Colin Starnes (University of King's College-Halifax), Carl Vaught (Baylor University), Anne-Marie Bowery (Baylor University), and David Lyle Jeffrey (Baylor University) will give plenary papers on the Confessions.