Writing to a Roman layman and enquiring Christian named Lawrence in AD 421, Augustine intended The Handbook: A Guide on Faith, Hope, and Love as a guide for catechesis and spiritual development. In this strikingly concise book, he breaks down Christian life to its most basic elements–faith, hope, and love–and by examining these central commitments he provides one of the most accessible and direct introductions to Christianity and to his thought.
The Handbook distills the essence of Christian belief and, whether read for spiritual growth or for its intellectual significance, shows the power of Augustine’s mind and the clarity of his prose. Augustine writes with an unmatched range, drawing from classical scholarship, Christian scripture, and his own experiences to address the key issues in Christian faith, including the creation of the world, evil, original sin, Jesus and the incarnation of God, justification, baptism, the Church, faith and works, salvation, and the destiny of man.
Few have ever matched Augustine’s grasp of what it means to view the world as a Christian. He presents a fully formed vision of Christianity in a clear and pastoral form that keeps the reader always engaged in the practical applications of faith and leaves little doubt as to why his work continues to be read and appreciated in the present day.
About Augustine of Hippo
Saint Augustine was born on November 13th, A.D. 354, in Tagaste (modern Souk Ahras, Algeria), and died almost seventy-six years later in Hippo Regius(modern Annaba) on the Mediterranean coast sixty miles away. In the years between, he devoted himself to the mastery of the texts of scripture, becoming a formidable theologian.