By the 20th century the Confessions had become a “classic” of western civilization, yet it seems to elude any easy explanation and categorization. While scholars of Late Antiquity puzzled over the nature, structure, and meaning of the work, a parallel reception was occurring by some of the most original thinkers across both traditions of Contemporary philosophy, including Ludwig Wittgenstein, Martin Heidegger, Hannah Arendt, Hans Jonas, Karl Jaspers, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Paul Ricoeur, Jean-Francois Lyotard, Jacques Derrida, Jean-Luc Marion, Jean Louis Chrétien and Stanley Cavell. This study will focus on four of these thinkers, Wittgenstein, Gadamer, Ricoeur and Marion, and the ways that the Confessions has influenced their attempts to address fundamental questions on subjects ranging from time and memory to history and hermeneutics, evil and the will, the self and personal identity, language and narrative, conversion, skepticism and materialism, God and onto- theology, and ultimately the very practice of philosophy itself, its autobiographical and especially its confessional character. In turn, this study also asks whether the engagements of these highly original contemporary philosophers can uncover new dimensions of this highly original work that has been read and interpreted throughout a centuries-long history of reception. The hermeneutic wager is that the past illumines the present philosophical terrain, but also that present insights allow us to read a classic text of the past with new understanding. This study will benefit from the interconnected nature of the problems that these writers confront, in their “family resemblance” of shared affinities and marked differences. Chapter One, “Scholarly Engagements: A Problematic Classic,” introduces some of the key interpretive problems which arose in the course of a century of scholarly engagements, including occasion, veracity, composition, and sources of Saint Augustine’s Confessions. Chapter Two “The Early Wittgenstein: Tractatus, Testimony and Confession” discusses the confessional philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein, and the deep affinities he shared with Saint Augustine in his life and his first major work, the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1922), despite its reception and use as a foundational for Logical Empiricism and its spirited offspring. Chapter Three: “The Later Wittgenstein: Philosophical Investigations as Philosophical Confession” discusses the influence of Saint Augustine on Wittgenstein’s second major work, the Philosophical Investigations (1953), which uses a quotation from the Confessions as a point of departure for his own philosophical confession of errors and temptations. Chapter Four “Saint Augustine and Gadamer: Hermeneutic Anticipations and Affinities” discusses the hermeneutical insights of Saint Augustine, through the ways he encountered or struggled with texts in the Confessions, as well as through his idea of the “inner word” which would be for Gadamer the foundation of a philosophical hermeneutics. Chapter Five, “Ricoeur: Sin, Time, Memory, and Narrative” discusses Ricoeur’s engagement with Saint Augustine on the question of evil as well as his appropriation of the Augustinian aporia of time from the Confessions as pivotal for his narrative turn. Chapter Six, “Jean-Luc Marion’s Confessions” lays out Marion’s phenomenological unfolding of the Confessions beyond and before metaphysics, offering his reading of six dimensions of the inaccessibility of the self explored by Saint Augustine in the Confessions. This study will conclude by highlighting the themes that have suggested themselves across the many readings of this classic text.