Confessions Books VII-VIII
Study Questions


1. Why does St. Augustine still struggle in his understanding of God?
2. What conclusions does St. Augustine draw about the origin and cause of evil?
3. How do the Platonists help St. Augustine’s spiritual search? How do they hurt it?
4. What attracted St. Augustine to embrace an inward, mystical communion with God?
5. What does St. Augustine learn from reading the Epistles of St. Paul?


1. At the beginning of the chapter, St. Augustine confesses his intellectual belief in the God of the Bible. What’s the difference between this sort of faith and the faith God wants us to have?
2. St. Augustine says that we knew God intellectually, but “as yet I was reluctant to pass through the strait gate” (p. 128). What does he mean?
3. Why did Simplicianus tell St. Augustine the story of Victorinus’s conversion?
4. St. Augustine says couldn’t fully embrace God because “habit had become an armed enemy against me” (p. 134). Explain how St. Augustine is using the word “habit” in the context of Chapter V.
5. What story does Ponticianus tell St. Augustine? Why? What is St. Augustine’s reaction to the story?
6. Discuss the conflict within St. Augustine’s mind in the moments leading up to his conversion.
7. When St. Augustine throws himself under a fig tree and prays for God’s assistance, what happens next?
8/ How does St. Augustine’s conversion change his outlook on life?