Augustine was an immensely successful teacher and rhetorician, but he felt imprisoned by his awards and recognition. Is it possible that these honors are inherently bad or oppressive? A glowing review, a congratulatory comment, published research, or an endorsed product? It seems right to recognize goodness in some person—a purple heart for a soldier wounded in battle recognizes courage and self-sacrifice, noble qualities indeed. I think of remarks I have received after a sermon, emails regarding articles I have written, comments on a blog post. Have I been ensnared by these honors, awards, and recognitions? What was it about Augustine’s honors that imprisoned him?

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