On the Happy Life

St. Augustine's Cassiciacum Dialogues, Volume 2

Translation, Annotation, and Commentary by Michael P. Foley

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A fresh, new translation of Augustine’s inaugural work as a Christian convert

The first four works written by St. Augustine of Hippo after his conversion to Christianity are the “Cassiciacum dialogues,” which have influenced prominent thinkers from Boethius to Bernard Lonergan. In this second, brief dialogue, expertly translated by Michael Foley, Augustine and his mother, brother, son, and friends celebrate his thirty-second birthday by having a “feast of words” on the nature of happiness. They conclude that the truly happy life consists of “having God” through faith, hope, and charity.

Michael P. Foley is associate professor of patristics at Baylor University. He is the author or editor of several books, including Frank Sheed’s translation of Augustine’s Confessions.

“A truly impressive undertaking.”—Marc D. Guerra, Assumption College

“A consistent, faithful and elegant translation of the crucial but relatively neglected dialogues by Augustine of Hippo.”—Simon Oliver, Durham University, UK

"Michael Foley’s orchestration of the Cassiciacum dialogues—a four-part translation, annotation, and commentary—renders Augustine’s most important voice, the voice of the seeker, readily available to a broad readership. These are perfect teaching texts, and they are equally compelling for experts.  This welcome return of the dialogues, separate and yet intimately related in Foley’s handling of them, marks the most important literary event in Augustinian studies since Peter Brown’s biography."—James Wetzel, Director of the Augustinian Institute at Villanova University

“Yale University Press has excelled in publishing these beautiful volumes. Michael Foley models good translation, deeply engaged with the intricacies of the Latin and yet flowing elegantly and readably across the page. Foley’s commentary introduces the reader carefully and invitingly into these important and complex texts from Augustine’s first years as a Christian writer. They belong on the shelves of all who value the wisdom of the early Christian tradition.”—Lewis Ayres, Durham University

“This edition of On The Happy Life will be welcomed by everyone interested in Augustine’s early corpus. Foley shows himself to be a skilled translator of and erudite guide to the Cassiciacum dialogues.”—Blake Dutton, Loyola University Chicago
 

“Michael Foley’s lively, precise new translation makes this dramatic dialogue accessible to today’s reader, adding yet another dimension to our understanding of the endless breadth of Augustine’s developing thought.”—Brian Daley, University of Notre Dame
 

“Michael Foley’s translation of Augustine’s dialogue On the Happy Life is accurate and elegantly written, and his Introduction will provide both students and advanced scholars with a guide to Augustine’s early thinking on the Christian contemplative life.”—Brian Stock, University of Toronto and Collège de France
 

“It is a delight to see this beautifully smooth English translation of On the Happy Life, with commentary that is both learned and engaging! Foley’s Augustine will reach students, scholars, and many others too.”—John C. Cavadini, University of Notre Dame
 
ISBN: 9780300238587
Publication Date: June 25, 2019
232 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/4
Against the Academics

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Translation, Annotation, and Commentary by Michael P.

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