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I was looking at a short summary of Augustine's Confessions, and came across a statement by the translator that though the word "confession" can mean acknowledgement of sin, it can also be a statement of praise. Elsewhere, in religious writings, I also see it apparently meaning giving thanks, making a vow, etc. Yet the dictionaries I looked at, don't have these meanings for confession. They only mention confessing to one's sins or crimes or something that one finds shameful or embarrassing. Confession's etymology apparently goes to "confiteri" which simply means to acknowledge.

Appreciate any help.

LATER EDIT: I'll quote it from the book: "The very title itself can be read two ways: Of confession as praise, as well as confession as acknowledgement of faults." That's from the introduction, nothing more is said of that.

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    Please quote - and preferably link - the statement you mention. – TrevorD Jul 9 '16 at 23:11
  • Oxford Dictionary includes "confession of faith", as well as confession of crime or sin. – TrevorD Jul 9 '16 at 23:14
  • I don't have that summary right now but it's based on a a book that I have, so I can't link it. It's entitled "Confessions", translated by Chadwick. I'll quote it from the book: "The very title itself can be read two ways: Of confession as praise, as well as confession as acknowledgement of faults." Edit: that's from the introduction, nothing more is said of that. – Amir Mord Jul 9 '16 at 23:14
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    This site refers to a "Faith Confession for Praise and Worship" – TrevorD Jul 9 '16 at 23:22
  • Oh yeah you're right, thanks Trevor. Still odd that no dictionary I am looking at, mentions those meanings. Unless confession meaning praise is strictly a religious meaning in context. I mean I suppose I could tell someone, "I must confess you are beautiful" but still feels as if I'm admitting to something that is somehow embarrassing for me to be doing, it's not purely praise. – Amir Mord Jul 9 '16 at 23:25
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Oxford Dictionary gives one meaning of confession as:

confession of faith
A statement setting out essential religious doctrine:
a Protestant confession of faith

Chambers Dictionary specifies one of the meanings of confession as

a declaration of one's religious faith or principles • a confession of faith.

This website refers to:

a "Faith Confession for Praise and Worship"

and states:

"Read the following confession several times each day to give praise and worship …"

Your question refers to "a statement by the translator that … the word 'confession' … can … be a statement of praise." and your quotation from the book actually states:

"The very title itself can be read two ways: Of confession as praise, as well as confession as acknowledgement of faults."

Note that the quotation from the book did not actually state that confession means praise — rather that confession [of faith] can be a "statement of praise". That seems to me to be supported by the stated dictionary definitions and the usage examples given above.

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    In other words, 'confession' does not have a primary meaning (denotation) or secondary meaning (connotation) of praise, but is culturally associated, by implication, with the idea of praise in some religious contexts. – Mitch Jul 9 '16 at 23:54
  • Whom is the confessor praising? – Narasimham Jul 10 '16 at 4:05
  • @Narasimham His/her god. – TrevorD Jul 10 '16 at 11:11

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