Request for new, modern translations of Augustine of Hippo

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Posts 124
Antonius | Forum Activity | Posted: Fri, Aug 2 2013 9:33 AM

Dear Logos,

Before I explain this request, let me give a little example, Confessions  X, 29 (40):

For too little doth he love Thee, who loves any thing with Thee, which he loveth not for Thee.
O love, who ever burnest and never consumest!
O charity, my God, kindle me.
Thou enjoinest continency: give me what Thou enjoinest, and enjoin what Thou wilt.

Translator: Edward B. Pusey  (the Logos version)


He loves you less who together with you loves something which he does not love for your sake.
Oh love, you ever burn and are never extinguished!
Oh charity, My God, set me on fire.
You command continence: give what you command, and command what you will.

Translator: Henry Chadwick, Publisher: Oxford University Press

I do not want to read archaic English, for a few important reasons: I read it too slowly, and my comprehension is poor. After all, these are serious theology books, I am reading not just for the purpose of reading, but to learn and learn well enough to help others understand.

Perhaps when Logos was first starting out as a company the priority of getting free, (out of copyright) titles was higher than the idea of getting a good translation that would cost more.  I would like to propose that it is now time for Logos to obtain the best translations possible for the key works by Augustine, an indescribably important person in church history. My pastor has recommended to me the works of Augustine from the publisher "New City Press".  I went to their web site to research this.  These are a prefect example of the type of translations I want. I am going to speculate that your company's future customers will want translations in modern, contemporary English also.
 
Augustine's Confessions is a masterpiece, one of the greatest literary works in the history of religion.  It deserves to be read in the best translation possible. I have been reviewing New City Press on the Internet, and all of the titles in the Augustine Collection have received exceptional reviews for the quality of translation.
 
So I am asking for at least three books by Augustine: The Confessions, Essential Sermons, The Trinity.  Perhaps "City of God" should/could also be added to this list.   Please contact New City Press and negotiate permission to their Augustine Collection (Note: Amazon/Kindle and Barnes Noble/Nook already have these titles as ebooks).

Peace be with you,
Tony

Posts 8899
fgh | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 2 2013 11:29 AM

Welcome to the forums.

Did you see the Augustines that Logos put on prepub yesterday, Fathers of the Church: St. Augustine (30 vols.)? Not absolutely new, and not from New City Press, but more modern than what they've currently got. Of course, it will be quite some time before they can be bought one by one, but that will be true for any series they get.

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Posts 5620
Todd Phillips | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 2 2013 12:03 PM

Yes

Logos needs more modern translations in general.  Especially if they want Noet to succeed they need more modern resources.  I was disappointed with the translation in Loeb edition of Augustine's confessions I just got.  It was nearly identical in style and wording to the translation in the ECF set (even though they were different translators). I hope Logos doesn't rest on having these old Perseus and Loeb translations, but will actively persue newer ones.

I'm starting to buy stuff in Kindle that I've gotten tired of waiting to appear in Logos.  (However, I will never buy a commentary or dictionary in Kindle.  That's strictly Logos' domain).  I'm glad that Battles' translation of Calvin's Institutes finally appeared in Logos---at least they beat Amazon to the punch on that one.

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Posts 1798
Ken McGuire | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 2 2013 12:27 PM

In my opinion, those of us interested most in the Fathers are the most aware of the glaring weaknesses of the current Logos offerings, but as to quantity and quality of translation.  I long for the day when the top translations of key works are on the Logos platform.  It is admittedly looking better than a few years back.  Now we have ten volume of Popular Patristics with the promise of more.  And just announced is the Fathers of the Church, and the Ancient Christian Writers series has also been promised. Take a look at http://community.logos.com/forums/t/72926.aspx for a bit more information.

In the interim I have created a few PB's of more recent translations, including one of the Confessions at http://community.logos.com/forums/t/67019.aspx  While it is not Chadwick or Boulding, it is (IMHO) more readable than what is already in Logos. For the passage above is a fine example of how Chadwick and Boulding would be better, but:

For he loves thee too little who loves along with thee anything else that he does not love for thy sake, O Love, who dost burn forever and art never quenched. O Love, O my God, enkindle me! Thou commandest continence; give what thou commandest, and command what thou wilt.

Outler, A. C. (1955). Augustine: Confessions and Enchiridion. Library of Christian Classics (p. 225). Westminster.

SDG

Ken McGuire

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David Bailey | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 2 2013 12:43 PM

Todd Phillips:
I'm starting to buy stuff in Kindle that I've gotten tired of waiting to appear in Logos.  (However, I will never buy a commentary or dictionary in Kindle.  That's strictly Logos' domain).  I'm glad that Battles' translation of Calvin's Institutes finally appeared in Logos---at least they beat Amazon to the punch on that one.

Thankful for alternatives for more modern translations. If Logos changed their business approach from mostly public domain sources to up-to-date, most current sources, they may see a drop in sales because the prices will be much higher than PD stuff. Perhaps PD sources give Logos a higher probability of obtaining their net profit margins and the widest spread between selling price and internal costs. They could keep the prices down, but would need to sell more books to hit the margins. Just my opinions.

Posts 19233
Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Aug 2 2013 1:41 PM

Ken McGuire:
I long for the day when the top translations of key works are on the Logos platform.

Yes

Here's my thread where I requested the NCP editions of Augustine's works (and more). Gabe Martini replied on it: "There are modern translations of everything St. Augustine has ever written on the way. I can't say when (or from whom), but rest assured they are around the corner. The same goes for practically all of the early Church fathers."

I hope he wasn't referring to the recently announced Fathers of the Church series. Most of those are 1950s and 1960s translations, yes more modern than ECF but not the best/newest translations available in many cases.

This obsession with releasing everything in large collections instead of going for the best editions available is hamstringing Logos as compared to Amazon which can bring out whatever they please as a stand-alone product for Kindle. Logos has to negotiate complicated contracts with each publisher and that means they often can't quickly get the best editions that we all want. I long for the day when Logos has more clout in the digital publishing world and can say to XYZ publisher "we want that" and get it ASAP.

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