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On the Road with Saint Augustine: A…

On the Road with Saint Augustine: A Real-World Spirituality for Restless… (original 2019; udgave 2019)

af Associate Professor James K. A. Smith (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
2033105,274 (4.35)1
"A popular speaker and award-winning author invites readers to meet the ancient African thinker who can help us find ourselves and a faith that speaks to our deepest hungers and hopes"--
Titel:On the Road with Saint Augustine: A Real-World Spirituality for Restless Hearts
Forfattere:Associate Professor James K. A. Smith (Forfatter)
Info:Brazos Press (2019), Edition: Illustrated, 256 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek

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On the Road with Saint Augustine: A Real-World Spirituality for Restless Hearts af James K. A. Smith (2019)


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"This is not a book about Saint Augustine. In a way, it's a book Augustine has written about each of us. Popular speaker and award-winning author James K. A. Smith has spent time on the road with Augustine, and he invites us to take this journey too, for this ancient African thinker knows far more about us than we might expect. Following Smith's successful You Are What You Love, this book shows how Augustine can be a pilgrim guide to a spirituality that meets the complicated world we live in. Augustine, says Smith, is the patron saint of restless hearts--a guide who has been there, asked our questions, and knows our frustrations and failed pursuits. Augustine spent a lifetime searching for his heart's true home and he can help us find our way. "What makes Augustine a guide worth considering," says Smith, "is that he knows where home is, where rest can be found, what peace feels like, even if it is sometimes ephemeral and elusive along the way." Addressing believers and skeptics alike, this book shows how Augustine's timeless wisdom speaks to the worries and struggles of contemporary life, covering topics such as ambition, sex, friendship, freedom, parenthood, and death. As Smith vividly and colorfully brings Augustine to life for 21st-century readers, he also offers a fresh articulation of Christianity that speaks to our deepest hungers, fears, and hopes." Pub . Review
  staylorlib | Dec 12, 2019 |
ON THE ROAD WITH SAINT AUGUSTINE: A Real-World Spirituality for Restless Hearts by James K. A. Smith (Brazos Press/Baker Publishing; 2019)

On the Road With Saint Augustine is written by philosopher, theologian, and author James K. A. Smith is the first book of his that I am aware of that is not written for a purely academic audience. And while this newest book is accessible to a broader audience, it is a little challenging in places. This is due mostly to the author's frequent mention of philosophers and an assumption of some familiarity with them and their views.

But with that small caveat out of the way, let me say that this book is wonderfully written, and I found myself often contemplating some of the points that Smith throughout the book. Smith melds the idea of a "road trip" to "find oneself," which many readers would be familiar with from novels from folks like Jack Kerouac, and even modern movies like Harold and Maude and Thelma and Louise, with the spiritual journey of Augustine.

Christian readers should mostly be familiar with the man Augustine and his importance. Still, probably many (like myself!) have found it hard to get through his books, The Confessions and The City of God. So, this book serves as a creative and impressive introduction to the life and writings of Augustine. Smith's goal in the book is to show how Augustine was not just a "saint" and a theologian who largely shaped Christianity in the West through his epochal writings. Augustine was a man like many people in our world today --- seeking out meaning and happiness in all the things the world has to offer but always coming away empty-ended. But for those of us who follow Christ, we find --- along with Augustine --- that He alone provides the meaning and value to life that we have been seeking all of our lives. After all, it is Augustine who wrote the famous line: "You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it finds its rest in You."

Smith takes essential topics and life issues, like freedom, ambition, sex, friendship, mothers and fathers, and enlightenment, and shows us how to navigate through these things spiritually --- just like Augustine. We moderns often turn up our noses at those who live in earlier times, thinking that they have no real application to our lives today. But through his mastery of Augustine's life and writings, and Smith's impactful way with words, he shows that we in 2019 are no different in the things that really matter from those who lived almost 1500 years ago.

On the Road With Saint Augustine is a book that readers may want to return to regularly, to spark deep thinking and a greater appreciation that our spiritual journeys are challenging, but at the same time, very similar. And in the end, our journeys will be found to be well worth the rocky roads that have been walked upon to reach our true goal --- Jesus Himself. ( )
  NicholasV56 | Dec 10, 2019 |
On The Road with Saint Augustine: A Real-World Spirituality for Restless Hearts by James K. A. Smith takes us on the spiritual journey of Augustine, as he travels Africa and Italy searching for purpose and meaning. Smith hones in on the human heart’s longing for road trips—journeys. Our hearts long for something that leads us out on the road. Usually, those journeys lead to some destination, the events along the way often more important than the destination itself, but then we go back home. However, our true spiritual journey is to a home we’ve yet to see. We all start as prodigals, and the question is do we finally run home to the Father. On the Road with Saint Augustine lets us ride along on both Augustine’s and Smith’s journeys.

Smith writes in the introduction:

This is not a biography. This is not a book about Augustine. In a way, it’s a book Augustine has written about yo. It’s a journey with Augustine as a journey into oneself. It’s a travelogue of the heart. It’s a road trip with a prodigal who’s already been where you think you need to go.

I admit I’m a sucker for stories about journeys. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was my favorite as a kid. That being said, Smith’s writing is engaging and Augustine’s journey is engrossing. I never thought I’d say this about a book focused on an early church father and philosophy, but it’s a page-turner. I didn’t want to stop reading.

On The Road With Saint Augustine is so engaging because Smith emphasizes that the saint knows exactly what we’re going through as we fight the pull of the world to find true meaning. Smith writes:

He only knows you because he’s been there, because he has a sense of the solidarity of the human race in our foibles and frustrations and failed pursuits. If he jackhammers his way into the secret corners of our hearts, unearthing our hungers and fears, it’s only because it’s familiar territory: he’s seen it all in his own soul.

Smith walks us through Augustine’s insights into finding oneself, friendship, sex, ambition, family, justice, and death— all of it just as relevant today for wanderers as it was in the 4th century. Smith throws in ample philosophy; with Camus, Derrida, Heidegger and more. My personal favorite is his discussion around the existentialists and Augustine.

I really enjoyed On The Road With Saint Augustine. It’s an insightful journey you won’t regret. ( )
  wilsonknut | Jul 21, 2019 |
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