This page features a collection of the best resources on St. Augustine. Just to be clear, there is no single best resource on Augustine. The best one will depend on your preferred learning style and the amount of time you want to spend learning about him.
To get started, simply choose one of the links below:
If you want an overview of Augustine:
- Read the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on St Augustine. However, you should keep in mind that the Stanford Encyclopedia in often quite technical and this article may be difficult for beginners. It’s also quite long at around 17,000 words. Here’s a short excerpt that introduces Augustine:
“Aurelius Augustinus [more commonly “St. Augustine of Hippo,” often simply “Augustine”] (354–430 C.E.): rhetor, Christian Neoplatonist, North African Bishop, Doctor of the Roman Catholic Church. One of the decisive developments in the western philosophical tradition was the eventually widespread merging of the Greek philosophical tradition and the Judeo-Christian religious and scriptural traditions. Augustine is one of the main figures through and by whom this merging was accomplished. He is, as well, one of the towering figures of medieval philosophy whose authority and thought came to exert a pervasive and enduring influence well into the modern period (e.g. Descartes and especially Malebranche), and even up to the present day, especially among those sympathetic to the religious tradition which he helped to shape (e.g. Plantinga 1992; Adams 1999). But even for those who do not share this sympathy, there is much in Augustine’s thought that is worthy of serious philosophical attention. Augustine is not only one of the major sources whereby classical philosophy in general and Neoplatonism in particular enter into the mainstream of early and subsequent medieval philosophy, but there are significant contributions of his own that emerge from his modification of that Greco-Roman inheritance, e.g., his subtle accounts of belief and authority, his account of knowledge and illumination, his emphasis upon the importance and centrality of the will, and his focus upon a new way of conceptualizing the phenomena of human history, just to cite a few of the more conspicuous examples. . . .”
If you’re looking for a somewhat shorter and more engaging introduction:
If you’d prefer a video introduction:
- Watch The School of Life’s video on Augustine [6:24 mins]
If you prefer audio and podcasts:
- Listen to Peter Adamson discuss Augustine’s Confessions on the History of Philosophy Without Any Gaps podcast [21:48 mins]
While these resources are a great starting point, there’s only so much you can learn by using free online resources. If you want to learn more, check out this list of the best books on or by St Augustine.
The Daily Idea was created to help make learning about philosophy as easy as possible by collecting the best philosophy articles, videos, podcasts, and book recommendations from across the internet and organizing them into one place. You can find a collection of links to these resources and recommendations here or try taking the 52 Book Philosophy Challenge.