Essential Expositions of the Psalms

Cover image for

Essential Expositions of the Psalms

translated by
introduction by
Michael Cameron
edited by
Michael Cameron
    About the book

    A creative selection and presentation of 19 Psalms and Augustine’s expositions with extensive introduction. Essential Expositions of the Psalms is a collection distilled from the 6-volume set in the Works of Saint Augustine. As the psalms are a microcosm of the Old Testament, so the Expositions of the Psalms can be seen as a microcosm of Augustinian thought. In the Book of Psalms are to be found the history of the people of Israel, the theology and spirituality of the Old Covenant, and a treasury of human experience expressed in prayer and poetry. So too does the work of expounding the psalms recapitulate and focus the experiences of Augustine's personal life, his theological reflections and his pastoral concerns as Bishop of Hippo.

    Skillfully translated and enhanced with meticulous notes, Essential Expositions of the Psalms condenses Saint Augustine's classic Christian texts into a digest accessible to readers of all backgrounds. Essential Expositions of the Psalms is an excellent, user-friendly resource for Bible study groups, and public or church library Christian Studies shelves. Highly recommended!

    Jack Mason
    Midwest Book Review

    The Expositions of the Psalms constitute the largest of Augustine’s works; they represent for the most part homilies given to his congregation in Hippo over several years. Here we meet Augustine, the priest and pastor, patiently exploring with his people the “prayer book of the Bible.” This volume of Essential Expositions of the Psalms gives us, not extracts, but a wonderful selection of complete homilies; they reveal to us the intimate contours of Augustine’s thought. Maria Boulding’s superlative translation is used and Michael Cameron provides a simple, but penetrating introduction to how to read Augustine on the Psalms. This is a book, both profound and moving: to read and re-read.

    The Very Revd Archpriest Andrew Louth FBA
    Professor Emeritus of Patristic and Byzantine Studies, Durham University, UK

    Cameron’s 50 page introduction with copious notes is a masterful overview of the Expositions and of the most recent scholarship on this essential part of the Augustinian corpus. His thoughtful selection and creative presentation of 19 Psalms and Augustine’s expositions of them is the best primer on this subject in any language. Augustine scholar Pope Benedict reminded us that the Psalms teach us how to pray and that in them the Word of God becomes a word of prayer. Cameron’s scholarship invites us inside Augustine’s own prayerful exploration of the human heart through the inspired words of the Psalter.

    Joseph T. Kelley
    Professor in Religious and Theological Studies and Director of the Center for the Study of Jewish-Christian-Muslim Relations at Merrimack College, N. Andover, MA

    About the author

    Augustine of Hippo is one of the greatest thinkers and writers in the Western world. After becoming a Christian he was made bishop of Hippo in Africa, where he was influential in civil and church affairs. His more than 100 books, 200 letters, and 500 sermons have left a lasting impact on Western philosophy and culture. His classic and best-selling works include The Confessions, The Trinity, The City of God, and Teaching Christianity.

    Maria Boulding (1929-2009) was born in Wimbledon in south London in 1929. She spent 62 of her 80 years as a much-valued member of Stanbrook Abbey, a community of enclosed Benedictine nuns. She translated St. Augustine's Confessions (1997) and his Expositions of the Psalms in several volumes (2000-2004), to much acclaim. She is the author of Marked for Life: Prayer in the Easter Christ; The Coming of God; and Gateway to Hope: An Exploration of Failure. She served on the advisory board for the series Works of Saint Augustine, A Translation for the 21st Century.