On the Road with Saint Augustine—James K.A. Smith

Could an ancient African bishop know you better than you know yourself? Philosopher James K.A. Smith thinks so. Though Augustine died in 430 CE, he is our contemporary, Smith insists, because the existentialist philosophers whose ideas molded and still permeate our cultural atmosphere were stirred by his search for an authentic self. Smith’s new book On the Road with St. Augustine is “a travelogue of the heart”, mapping a handful of destinations where Augustine has stopped before us:

  • Freedom — How to escape

  • Ambition — How to aspire

  • Sex — How to connect

  • Mothers — How to be dependent

  • Friendship — How to belong

  • Story — How to be a character

  • Enlightenment — How to protest

  • Fathers — How to be broken

  • Death — How to hope

It’s a beautiful read and a stirring presentation of the Christian faith. In fact, “Augustine might make Christianity believable for you even if you’ve heard it all, been there, done that, and left the stupid Christian T-shirt at home,” writes Smith. "Here’s a Christianity to consider before you stop believing.” Pick up a copy of On the Road with St. Augustine: A Real-World Spirituality for Restless Hearts. You can read the first chapter online or listen to James K.A. Smith talk about “Reforming Our Ambition” in this stimulating lecture.

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