cover image On the Road with Saint Augustine: A Real-World Spirituality for Restless Hearts

On the Road with Saint Augustine: A Real-World Spirituality for Restless Hearts

James K. A. Smith. Brazos, $24.99 (256p) ISBN 978-1-58743-389-4

In this engrossing reflection on the human spiritual journey, philosophy professor Smith (You Are What You Love) uses the fourth-century Bishop of Hippo, Saint Augustine, as a guide for considering complex, timeless issues. Exploring Augustine’s Confessions, which describe his decades-long resistance to God and gradual conversion to Christianity, Smith asserts that Augustine’s insights into freedom, ambition, sex, friendship, parenting, justice, and death have much to say to seekers today. He analyzes Augustine’s influence on philosophers including Arendt, Camus, Derrida, Descartes, and Heidegger, demonstrating that Augustine’s philosophical arguments about issues such as authenticity and alienation continue to resonate with modern thinkers. Smith emphasizes Augustine’s description of Christianity as “a journey of emigration,” in which Christians are migrants searching for home, aware of their dependence, vulnerability, and need of a faith community to help them “nourish new habits” and live faithful lives. Seeking Augustine’s wisdom on questions—such as “what do I want when I want to be noticed?” or “to belong?” or “to be rational?”—Smith illuminates Augustine’s certainty that people find freedom and truth when they find themselves in God’s story. By following Augustine’s model and sharing his own faith journey, Smith makes Augustine’s guidance accessible to a new generation of seekers. (Oct.)