On the Road with Saint Augustine, ITPE

A Real-World Spirituality for Restless Hearts

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About

This is not a book about Saint Augustine. In a way, it's a book Augustine has written about each of us. Popular speaker and award-winning author James K. A. Smith has spent time on the road with Augustine, and he invites us to take this journey too, for this ancient African thinker knows far more about us than we might expect.

Following Smith's successful You Are What You Love, this book shows how Augustine can be a pilgrim guide to a spirituality that meets the complicated world we live in. Augustine, says Smith, is the patron saint of restless hearts--a guide who has been there, asked our questions, and knows our frustrations and failed pursuits. Augustine spent a lifetime searching for his heart's true home and he can help us find our way. "What makes Augustine a guide worth considering," says Smith, "is that he knows where home is, where rest can be found, what peace feels like, even if it is sometimes ephemeral and elusive along the way." Addressing believers and skeptics alike, this book shows how Augustine's timeless wisdom speaks to the worries and struggles of contemporary life, covering topics such as ambition, sex, friendship, freedom, parenthood, and death. As Smith vividly and colorfully brings Augustine to life for 21st-century readers, he also offers a fresh articulation of Christianity that speaks to our deepest hungers, fears, and hopes.

Contents

Introduction
Orientation
Heart on the Run
How to Hit the Road
Augustine Our Contemporary
How to Find Yourself
A Refugee Spirituality
How to Live Between
Detours on the Way to Myself
Freedom
How to Escape
Ambition
How to Aspire
Sex
How to Connect
Mothers
How to Be Dependent
Friendship
How to Belong
Enlightenment
How to Believe
Story
How to Be a Character
Justice
How to Protest
Fathers
How to Be Broken
Death
How to Hope
Homecoming
Index


Endorsements

"On the Road with Saint Augustine is a learned, large-hearted, and quite lively introduction to Augustine, or to life by way of Augustine, or to God by way of both. The variety of Smith's references is astonishing, as is the seamless way he moves among them. I expect many modern readers will find themselves--and, crucially, much more than themselves--in this book."

Christian Wiman, author of My Bright Abyss and Every Riven Thing

"Augustine of Hippo is the patron saint of restless hearts. Now James K. A. Smith, long one of our most interesting theological thinkers, both orthodox and outlier, reintroduces this figure who is at once strange and familiar, ancient and contemporary. This book is a journey into the greatest journey of all, and a delight to read. Highly recommended."

Krista Tippett, founder and CEO, The On Being Project; host, On Being; curator, The Civil Conversations Project

"Fascinating, engrossing, insightful, beautifully written, and often brilliant, this new book will open up the story and spirituality of St. Augustine to a new generation of readers and seekers."

James Martin, SJ, author of Jesus: A Pilgrimage

"As the author well says, this is not a book about St. Augustine. But it certainly is a guide for reading Augustine as he wrote and would probably prefer to be read, with a restless heart."

Justo L. González, author of The Mestizo Augustine

"It is a fundamental Augustinian trope that we are not home. Here Jamie Smith riffs with unrivaled depth and texture on what it means to be in via--to be on the way--to be not at home. I am grateful, and I will keep this book with me as I pilgrim."

Lauren Winner, author of The Dangers of Christian Practice and Still

"Smith opens this book by placing the contemporary culture of seeking the real, authentic self alongside the works of Augustine; then he continues by placing our contemporary experience alongside Augustine's biography; both moves yield a fund of interesting insights."

Charles Taylor, author of A Secular Age

"This book is James K. A. Smith's Born to Run. It's the story of the journey we are all on. For Smith, Saint Augustine is the perfect navigator. He's familiar with that 'highway jammed with broken heroes,' because he knows what it feels like to be a heart on the run. If you lust for the highway and feel the engine idling deep inside, your ride is here. Augustine is in the passenger seat with the map of our heart unfolded on his lap, waiting to take us home."

Bob Crawford, member of The Avett Brothers and cohost of The Road to Now podcast

"On the Road with Saint Augustine is a spiritual reflection that reminds us why the ancient saint is not only essential for us but inescapable. With Augustine as guide, Smith takes the reader on a tour of the human heart. Profound, personal, and fast-paced, the book will nourish readers in almost any spiritual state."

Kyle Harper, senior vice president, provost, and professor of classics and letters, University of Oklahoma


The Author

  1. James K. A. Smith
    Seth Thompson, © 2017 Green Frog Photo

    James K. A. Smith

    James K. A. Smith (PhD, Villanova University) is a popular speaker who has written many books, including Awaiting the King, Imagining the Kingdom, How (Not) to Be Secular, and the Christianity Today Book Award winners...

    Continue reading about James K. A. Smith


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