St. Augustine’s Confessions is heralded as a classic of Western culture. Yet when James Boyd White first tried to read it in translation, it seemed utterly dull. Its ideas struck him as platitudinous and its prose felt drab. It was only when he started to read the text in Latin that he began to see the originality and depth of Augustine’s work.
In Let in the Light, White invites readers to join him in a close and engaged encounter with the Confessions in which they will come to share his experience of the book’s power and profundity by reading at least some of it in Augustine’s own language. He offers an accessible guide to reading the text in Latin, line by line—even for those who have never studied the language.
Equally attuned to the resonances of individual words and the deeper currents of Augustine’s culture, Let in the Light considers how the form and nuances of the Latin text allow greater insight into the work and its author. White shows how to read Augustine’s prose with care and imagination, rewarding sustained attention and broader reflection.
Let in the Light brings new life to a classic work, guiding readers to experience the immediacy, urgency, and vitality of Augustine’s Confessions.