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by Saint Augustine

Confessions Theme of Truth

How do you define truth? As something that is true? As something that is not false? Truth has so many meanings in the Confessions that it's not even funny. It might even drive you a little bit insane. Here, "truth" can stand for something like confession, as in, "the truth will come out." It can refer to the Eternal Truth of God (in All Capitals. Or, it can refer to more philosophical or scientific notions of truth. If you want something to do for a few rainy weeks, go ahead and track just how often the word gets used in the Confessions and you'll see what we mean. But there must be something binding all these manifold uses of "truth" together… right?

Questions About Truth

  1. When Augustine talks about the truth, what does he mean? Is there a difference between the Truth and truth, or truth and the truth?
  2. According to Augustine, is there a distinction between truth and knowledge?
  3. Does Augustine think that there can be multiple truths, or is truth, by definition, solitary?
  4. Does truth always have a purely religious meaning for Augustine?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Truth has one meaning in the Confessions, but it is a meaning that is applied in different ways.

Truth has many meanings in the Confessions.

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