Monasticism: Its Ideals and History and The Confessions of St Augustine
by Adolf Harnack
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As well as authoring hundreds of pages on church history, Harnack gave several
relatively well-known lectures. Provided here are two of his most famous talks,
Monasticism: Its Ideals and History and The Confessions of St. Augustine. Concerning
monasticism, Harnack addressed questions about what it meant to live a monastic life and
what sort of ideals monastic communities held. As such a prominent force in early and
medieval Christianity, the historian explores how wider Christian culture has imbibed
monastic principles. Similarly, when Harnack speaks about St. Augustine and his almost
legendary Confessions, he seeks out the illustrious saint’s stamp upon all theology and
Church practice following him. Harnack was known to be a charismatic orator, and his
lectures are consequently interesting, informative, and accessible all at the same time.