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The city of God (De civitate Dei) by John…
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The city of God (De civitate Dei) (edition 1909)

by John Healey, Augustine

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Title:The city of God (De civitate Dei)
Authors:John Healey, Augustine
Info:J. Grant (1909), Unknown Binding
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The City of God by St. Augustine

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LT City of God, Augustine, Penguin Books, translator Henry Bettenson, 1467/1972/1984, 7/4-14/07
(great summary article) https://chalcedon.edu/magazine/augustine-of-hippo-foundational-thinker-part-iii-augustine-the-city-of-god

Theme: those living after the Spirit versus after the flesh
Type: theology/philosophy
Value: 1-
Age: col
Interest: 1-
Objectionable:
Synopsis/Noteworthy:

Read and marked on beach and in car, see my book card
Intro by O’Meara—good summary
Augustine (354-430) was a brilliant thinker and practical philosopher who was converted to Christianity and served in North Africa (Hippo) as an official church leader (bishop) of what became the RCC. He is known for two books primarily: Confessions, which gives his personal testimony (in verse and prayer), and City of God, which gives his philosophy of the people of God in the world.

“City of God” → a group of people (and angels) who live by God’s standard 408-angels have invited us into society of that City, 423/5/6 (see extended quote below), 463-not on pilgrimage [not in this life] in this mortal life, but is eternally immortal in heaven, consisting of the holy angels who cleave to God…, 503-God also foresaw that by his grace a community of godly men was to be called to adoption as his sons…to enter into fellowship with the holy angels… And this company of the godly was to benefit from consideration of this truth, that God started the human race from one man to show to mankind how pleasing to him is unity in plurality, 553…two cities, different and mutually opposed, owe their existence to the fact that some men live by the standard of the flesh, others by the standard of the spirit…some live by man’s standard, others by God’s, 561-Among us Christians…, the citizens of the holy City of God, as they live by God’s standards in the pilgrimage of this present life, feel fear and desire, pain and gladness in conformity with the Holy Scriptures and sound doctrine; and because their love is right, all these feelings are right in them, 566-we must lead a right life to reach the goal of a life of felicity; and this right kind of life exhibits all these emotions in the right way, and a misdirected life in a misdirected way. But the life of felicity…the quality of the citizens of God’s City during their earthly pilgrimage, 593-4-created by two kinds of love: the earthly city was created by self-love reaching the point of contempt for God, the Heavenly City by the love of God, 652-his church, which is the City of God, 881-the Supreme Good of the City of God is everlasting and perfect peace, which is not the peace through which men pass in their mortality…but…immortal state

553 I have already said that two cities, different and mutually opposed, owe their existence to the fact that some men live by the standard of the flesh, others by the standard of the spirit...
561 Among us Christians, on the other hand, the citizens of the Holy City of God, as they live by God's standards in the pilgrimage of this present life, feel fear and desire, pain and gladness in conformity with the Holy Scriptures and sound doctrine; and because their love is right, all these feelings are right in them.

Summaries 225, 425-6, 429-30, 463, 503, 593, 761, xviii, xxiii-Who is this God…City of God is basically concerned with that question
Summum bonum: cleave to God 406-8, 420-6, 881, 893
Climax 884, 890, 420-6

L 39-avoidance of sin no valid reason for suicide so there is no valid reason, 466-showing off my trivials of number knowledge, 1061-our resurrections bodies will be beautiful, 1066-discipline/spanking is necessary so child does not grow up untamed
K 304-It is well known that Socrates was in the habit of concealing his knowledge, or his beliefs, and Plato approved of that habit. The result is that it is not easy to discover his own opinion , even in important matters, 304-Theological questions are to be discussed with the Platonists rather than with any other philosophers, whose opinions must be counted as inferior…There are note that come nearer to us than the Platonists…, 345ff Only truth and virtue can offer a center of resistance against turbulent and degraded passions…, 392 God is to be worshipped as well for temporal as for eternal benefits, 402-the power of the saints is in confronting not accommodating, 561ff, 637, 856, 879, 880, 893, 1024, 1068-true philosophy only given to a few and is sole defense for miseries of this life

Ethan ix, 41, 69, 224, 254, 304, 345, 599-competition, 879-dress
Nate 138-better to be good man and content with little than an important man with much and headaches
Whitney 561-note #64 Book IX Chapters 4-5
Ben P 994

Roman perspective and Greek and Bible revelation xx
Charter of Christendom xx
Who is God? xix-xx, xxiii
Role of science xxxiii Whatever the [scientists] themselves can demonstrate by true proofs about the nature of things, we can show not to be contrary to our scriptures. But whatever they advance…
God is our helper insofar as God gives us strength 5, 47, 47, 426
Good and bad suffer alike 13-17
Fearfulness of censuring others→ confronting others (why we don’t) 15 (below)
Suicide upon salvation 38
Theater 43 …speech not to allow Greek corruption to infiltrate into the viral morality of Rome, and to have no truck with foreign depravity which would undermine and weaken the Roman moral character
Involvement in world→ mix of saved and unsaved 46 …those two cities are interwoven and intermixed in this era, and await separation at the last judgment
Blindness/stubbornness 48
Where did teaching re demons come from? 242, 276, 294, 305-6, 777, 884
Philosophy 299ff, 311, 313, 458, 843ff, 1068, xxxi, xxxiii
Exegesis/II Tim 2:15 404, xviii
♥ Salvation/universal liberation of soul 420-26 (below), xv Our purpose is to show how the main theme of the City of God—salvation, attained by the worship of the one true God and the rejection of all false gods—had already taken on special significance for him as he reflected upon the pattern of his own life. Even at that state he had begun to think that what was true for him was true for mankind at large. Whereas salvation in the City of God is represented by citizenship in a city—an image explicitly taken from the Scriptures—it is in the earliest formulations represented as arriving in harbor, or at the fatherland, or being in the way…
Significant matters 425
Doctrine 429ff, xxxiv
Trinity 440
Three-fold nature of reality 458-64, xxxi
Feelings 561ff As far as this question of mental disturbance is concerned, I have already given my reply to these philosophers in the ninth book of this work. (see below, IX 4-5)
Bodily control 388 (unmarked)
Parturition 591 how God intended babies to be made
Competition 599
Physical beauty 852-3, 1073-4
Assurance (of salvation) 879 (see below)
Involvement in world 879 (see below)
Hebrew 667 original languages
Vanity of this life 852-4
City versus family 859
Cg relations 877-8, 881/891-2
Confidence 879
Involvement in world, dress 879
Porphyry 884-90, xxviii
Commentary on books of the Bible 899-963
Afflictions peculiar to righteous 1069
Good things of life 1070ff
Natural/universal blessings 1072-3

Book I Chapter 9 (p 15, Dods) For often we wickedly blind ourselves to the occasions of teaching and admonishing them, sometimes even of reprimanding and chiding them, either because we shrink from the labour or are ashamed to offend them, or because we fear to lose good friendships, lest this should stand in the way of our advancement, or injure us in some worldly matter, which either our covetous disposition desires to obtain, or our weakness shrinks from losing. So that, although the conduct of wicked men is distasteful to the good, and therefore they do not fall with them into that damnation which in the next life awaits such persons, yet, because they spare their damnable sins through fear, therefore, even though their own sins be slight and venial, they are justly scourged with the wicked in this world, though in eternity they quite escape punishment. Justly, when God afflicts them in common with the wicked, do they find this life bitter, through love of whose sweetness they declined to be bitter to these sinners.

If any one forbears to reprove and find fault with those who are doing wrong, because he seeks a more seasonable opportunity, or because he fears they may be made worse by his rebuke, or that other weak persons may be disheartened from endeavoring to lead a good and pious life, and may be driven from the faith; this man's omission seems to be occasioned not by covetousness, but by a charitable consideration. But what is blameworthy is, that they who themselves revolt from the conduct of the wicked, and live in quite another fashion, yet spare those faults in other men which they ought to reprehend and wean them from; and spare them because they fear to give offence, lest they should injure their interests in those things which good men may innocently and legitimately use,—though they use them more greedily than becomes persons who are strangers in this world

Book IX, Chapter 4 The opinion of the Peripatetics and Stoics about mental emotions.
Among the philosophers there are two opinions about these mental emotions, which the Greeks call πάθη, while some of our own writers, as Cicero, call them perturbations, some affections, and some, to render the Greek word more accurately, passions. Some say that even the wise man is subject to these perturbations, though moderated and controlled by reason, which imposes laws upon them, and so restrains them within necessary bounds. This is the opinion of the Platonists and Aristotelians; for Aristotle was Plato's disciple, and the founder of the Peripatetic school. But others, as the Stoics, are of opinion that the wise man is not subject to these perturbations. But Cicero, in his book De Finibus, shows that the Stoics are here at variance with the Platonists and Peripatetics rather in words than in reality; for the Stoics decline to apply the term "goods" to external and bodily advantages, because they reckon that the only good is virtue, the art of living well, and this exists only in the mind. The other philosophers, again, use the simple and customary phraseology, and do not scruple to call these things goods, though in comparison of virtue, which guides our life, they are little and of small esteem. And thus it is obvious that, whether these outward things are called goods or advantages, they are held in the same estimation by both parties, and that in this matter the Stoics are pleasing themselves merely with a novel phraseology. It seems, then, to me that in this question, whether the wise man is subject to mental passions, or wholly free from them, the controversy is one of words rather than of things; for I think that, if the reality and not the mere sound of the words is considered, the Stoics hold precisely the same opinion as the Platonists and Peripatetics.

… Aulus Gellius says that he read in this book that the Stoics maintain that there are certain impressions made on the soul by external objects which they call phantasiæ, and that it is not in the power of the soul to determine whether or when it shall be invaded by these. When these impressions are made by alarming and formidable objects, it must needs be that they move the soul even of the wise man, so that for a little [or for a long time—or maybe better, intermittingly, with occasional breaks] he trembles with fear, or is depressed by sadness, these impressions anticipating the work of reason and self-control; but this does not imply that the mind accepts these evil impressions, or approves or consents to them. For this consent is, they think, in a man's power; there being this difference between the mind of the wise man and that of the fool, that the fool's mind yields to these passions and consents to them, while that of the wise man, though it cannot help being invaded by them, yet retains with unshaken firmness a true and steady persuasion of those things which it ought rationally to desire or avoid. This account of what Aulus Gellius relates that he read in the book of Epictetus about the sentiments and doctrines of the Stoics I have given as well as I could, not, perhaps, with his choice language, but with greater brevity, and, I think, with greater clearness. And if this be true, then there is no difference, or next to none, between the opinion of the Stoics and that of the other philosophers regarding mental passions and perturbations, for both parties agree in maintaining that the mind and reason of the wise man are not subject to [have to give into] these. And perhaps what the Stoics mean by asserting this, is that the wisdom which characterizes the wise man is clouded by no error and sullied by no taint, but, with this reservation that his wisdom remains undisturbed, he is exposed to the impressions which the goods and ills of this life (or, as they prefer to call them, the advantages or disadvantages) make upon them. For we need not say that if that philosopher had thought nothing of those things which he thought he was forthwith to lose, life and bodily safety, he would not have been so terrified by his danger as to betray his fear by the pallor of his cheek. Nevertheless, he might suffer this mental disturbance, and yet maintain the fixed persuasion that life and bodily safety, which the violence of the tempest threatened to destroy, are not those good things which make their possessors good, as the possession of righteousness does. But in so far as they persist that we must call them not goods but advantages, they quarrel about words and neglect things. For what difference does it make whether goods or advantages be the better name, while the Stoic no less than the Peripatetic is alarmed at the prospect of losing them, and while, though they name them differently, they hold them in like esteem?

Book X Chapter 32. (pgs 420-6) [the following is by translator MARCUS DODS] Of the universal way of the soul's deliverance, which Porphyry did not find because he did not rightly seek it, and which the grace of Christ has alone thrown open.
This is the religion which possesses the universal way for delivering the soul; for, except by this way, none can be delivered. This is a kind of royal way, which alone leads to a kingdom which does not totter like all temporal dignities, but stands firm on eternal foundations. And when Porphyry says, towards the end of the first book De Regressu Animæ, that no system of doctrine which furnishes the universal way for delivering the soul has as yet been received, either from the truest philosophy, or from the ideas and practices of the Indians, or from the reasoning[432] of the Chaldæans, or from any source whatever, and that no historical reading had made him acquainted with that way, he manifestly acknowledges that there is such a way, but that as yet he was not acquainted with it. Nothing of all that he had so laboriously learned concerning the deliverance of the soul, nothing of all that he seemed to others, if not to himself, to know and believe, satisfied him. For he perceived that there was still wanting a commanding authority which it might be right to follow in a matter of such importance. And when he says that he had not learned from any truest philosophy a system which possessed the universal way of the soul's deliverance, he shows plainly enough, as it seems to me, either that the philosophy of which he was a disciple was not the truest, or that it did not comprehend such a way. And how can that be the truest philosophy which does not possess this way? For what else is the universal way of the soul's deliverance than that by[Pg 431] which all souls universally are delivered, and without which, therefore, no soul is delivered? And when he says, in addition, "or from the ideas and practices of the Indians, or from the reasoning of the Chaldæans, or from any source whatever," he declares in the most unequivocal language that this universal way of the soul's deliverance was not embraced in what he had learned either from the Indians or the Chaldæans; and yet he could not forbear stating that it was from the Chaldæans he had derived these divine oracles of which he makes such frequent mention. What, therefore, does he mean by this universal way of the soul's deliverance, which had not yet been made known by any truest philosophy, or by the doctrinal systems of those nations which were considered to have great insight in things divine, because they indulged more freely in a curious and fanciful science and worship of angels? What is this universal way of which he acknowledges his ignorance, if not a way which does not belong to one nation as its special property, but is common to all, and divinely bestowed? Porphyry, a man of no mediocre abilities, does not question that such a way exists; for he believes that Divine Providence could not have left men destitute of this universal way of delivering the soul. For he does not say that this way does not exist, but that this great boon and assistance has not yet been discovered, and has not come to his knowledge. And no wonder; for Porphyry lived in an age when this universal way of the soul's deliverance,—in other words, the Christian religion,—was exposed to the persecutions of idolaters and demon-worshippers, and earthly rulers,[433] that the number of martyrs or witnesses for the truth might be completed and consecrated, and that by them proof might be given that we must endure all bodily sufferings in the cause of the holy faith, and for the commendation of the truth. Porphyry, being a witness of these persecutions, concluded that this way was destined to a speedy extinction, and that it, therefore, was not the universal way of the soul's deliverance, and did not see that the very thing that thus moved him, and deterred him from becoming a Christian, contributed to the confirmation and more effectual commendation of our religion.
[Pg 432]

This, then, is the universal way of the soul's deliverance, the way that is granted by the divine compassion to the nations universally. And no nation to which the knowledge of it has already come, or may hereafter come, ought to demand, Why so soon? or, Why so late?—for the design of Him who sends it is impenetrable by human capacity. This was felt by Porphyry when he confined himself to saying that this gift of God was not yet received, and had not yet come to his knowledge. For, though this was so, he did not on that account pronounce that the way itself had no existence.

This, I say, is the universal way for the deliverance of believers, concerning which the faithful Abraham received the divine assurance, "In thy seed shall all nations be blessed."[434] He, indeed, was by birth a Chaldæan; but, that he might receive these great promises, and that there might be propagated from him a seed "disposed by angels in the hand of a Mediator,"[435] in whom this universal way, thrown open to all nations for the deliverance of the soul, might be found, he was ordered to leave his country, and kindred, and father's house. Then was he himself, first of all, delivered from the Chaldæan superstitions, and by his obedience worshipped the one true God, whose promises he faithfully trusted.

This is the universal way, of which it is said in holy prophecy, "God be merciful unto us, and bless us, and cause His face to shine upon us; that Thy way may be known upon earth, Thy saving health among all nations."[436] And hence, when our Saviour, so long after, had taken flesh of the seed of Abraham, He says of Himself, "I am the way, the truth, and the life."[437] This is the universal way, of which so long before it had been predicted, "And it shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills; and all nations shall flow unto it. And many people shall go and say, Come ye, and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob; and He will teach us of His ways, and we will walk in His paths: for out of Sion shall go forth the law, and the[Pg 433] word of the Lord from Jerusalem."[438]

This way, therefore, is not the property of one, but of all nations. The law and the word of the Lord did not remain in Zion and Jerusalem, but issued thence to be universally diffused. And therefore the Mediator Himself, after His resurrection, says to His alarmed disciples, "These are the words which I spake unto you while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning me. Then opened He their understandings that they might understand the Scriptures, and said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in His name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem."[439]

This is the universal way of the soul's deliverance, which the holy angels and the holy prophets formerly disclosed where they could among the few men who found the grace of God, and especially in the Hebrew nation, whose commonwealth was, as it were, consecrated to prefigure and fore-announce the city of God which was to be gathered from all nations, by their tabernacle, and temple, and priesthood, and sacrifices. In some explicit statements, and in many obscure foreshadowings, this way was declared; but latterly came the Mediator Himself in the flesh, and His blessed apostles, revealing how the grace of the New Testament more openly explained what had been obscurely hinted to preceding generations, in conformity with the relation of the ages of the human race, and as it pleased God in His wisdom to appoint, who also bore them witness with signs and miracles, some of which I have cited above. For not only were there visions of angels, and words heard from those heavenly ministrants, but also men of God, armed with the word of simple piety, cast out unclean spirits from the bodies and senses of men, and healed deformities and sicknesses; the wild beasts of earth and sea, the birds of air, inanimate things, the elements, the stars, obeyed their divine commands; the powers of hell gave way before them, the dead were restored to life. I say nothing of the miracles peculiar and proper to the Saviour's own person, especially the nativity[Pg 434] and the resurrection; in the one of which He wrought only the mystery of a virgin maternity, while in the other He furnished an instance of the resurrection which all shall at last experience. This way purifies the whole man, and prepares the mortal in all his parts for immortality. For, to prevent us from seeking for one purgation for the part which Porphyry calls intellectual, and another for the part he calls spiritual, and another for the body itself, our most mighty and truthful Purifier and Saviour assumed the whole human nature. Except by this way, which has been present among men both during the period of the promises and of the proclamation of their fulfilment, no man has been delivered, no man is delivered, no man shall be delivered.

As to Porphyry's statement that the universal way of the soul's deliverance had not yet come to his knowledge by any acquaintance he had with history, I would ask, what more remarkable history can be found than that which has taken possession of the whole world by its authoritative voice? or what more trustworthy than that which narrates past events, and predicts the future with equal clearness, and in the unfulfilled predictions of which we are constrained to believe by those that are already fulfilled? For neither Porphyry nor any Platonists can despise divination and prediction, even of things that pertain to this life and earthly matters, though they justly despise ordinary soothsaying and the divination that is connected with magical arts. They deny that these are the predictions of great men, or are to be considered important, and they are right; for they are founded, either on the foresight of subsidiary causes, as to a professional eye much of the course of a disease is foreseen by certain premonitory symptoms, or the unclean demons predict what they have resolved to do, that they may thus work upon the thoughts and desires of the wicked with an appearance of authority, and incline human frailty to imitate their impure actions. It is not such things that the saints who walk in the universal way care to predict as important, although, for the purpose of commending the faith, they knew and often predicted even such things as could not be detected by human observation, nor be readily verified by experience. But there[Pg 435] were other truly important and divine events which they predicted, in so far as it was given them to know the will of God. For the incarnation of Christ, and all those important marvels that were accomplished in Him, and done in His name; the repentance of men and the conversion of their wills to God; the remission of sins, the grace of righteousness, the faith of the pious, and the multitudes in all parts of the world who believe in the true divinity; the overthrow of idolatry and demon worship, and the testing of the faithful by trials; the purification of those who persevered, and their deliverance from all evil; the day of judgment, the resurrection of the dead, the eternal damnation of the community of the ungodly, and the eternal kingdom of the most glorious city of God, ever-blessed in the enjoyment of the vision of God,—these things were predicted and promised in the Scriptures of this way; and of these we see so many fulfilled, that we justly and piously trust that the rest will also come to pass. As for those who do not believe, and consequently do not understand, that this is the way which leads straight to the vision of God and to eternal fellowship with Him, according to the true predictions and statements of the Holy Scriptures, they may storm at our position, but they cannot storm it.

And therefore, in these ten books, though not meeting, I dare say, the expectation of some, yet I have, as the true God and Lord has vouchsafed to aid me, satisfied the desire of certain persons, by refuting the objections of the ungodly, who prefer their own gods to the Founder of the holy city, about which we undertook to speak. Of these ten books, the first five were directed against those who think we should worship the gods for the sake of the blessings of this life, and the second five against those who think we should worship them for the sake of the life which is to be after death. And now, in fulfilment of the promise I made in the first book, I shall go on to say, as God shall aid me, what I think needs to be said regarding the origin, history, and deserved ends of the two cities, which, as already remarked, are in this world commingled and implicated with one another.

Book XIX Chapter 18 How different the uncertainty of the New Academy is from the certainty of the Christian faith.
As regards the uncertainty about everything which Varro alleges to be the differentiating characteristic of the New Academy, the city of God thoroughly detests such doubt as madness. Regarding matters which it apprehends by the mind and reason it has most absolute certainty, although its knowledge is limited because of the corruptible body pressing down the mind, for, as the apostle says, "We know in part."(I Cor 13:9) It believes also the evidence of the senses which the mind uses by aid of the body; for [if one who trusts his senses is sometimes deceived], he is more wretchedly deceived who fancies he should never trust them. It believes also the Holy Scriptures, old and new, which we call canonical, and which are the source of the faith by which the just lives (Hab 2:4), and by which we walk without doubting whilst we are absent from the Lord (II Cor 5:6). So long as this faith remains inviolate and firm, we may without blame entertain doubts regarding some things which we have neither perceived by sense nor by reason, and which have not been revealed to us by the canonical Scriptures, nor come to our knowledge through witnesses whom it is absurd to disbelieve.

Book XIX Chapter 19 Of the dress and habits of the Christian people.
It is a matter of no moment in the city of God whether he who adopts the faith that brings men to God adopts it in one dress and manner of life or another, so long only as he lives in conformity with the commandments of God. And hence, when philosophers themselves become Christians, they are compelled, indeed, to abandon their erroneous doctrines, but not their dress and mode of living, which are no obstacle to religion. So that we make no account of that distinction of sects which Varro adduced in connection with the Cynic school, provided always nothing indecent or self-indulgent is retained.
  keithhamblen | Nov 12, 2018 |
love yourself and avoid at all costs ( )
  ireneattolia | Sep 3, 2018 |
As a backlash against Christianity grew after the sack of Roman in 410 AD, Augustine of Hippo took up his pen to respond to pagans and philosophers as well as inform Christians about their priorities between heaven and earth. The City of God is one of the cornerstones of medieval Christianity and thought that even influences the world today.

Augustine divides his work into 22 books divided into two parts. The first part was to refute the accusation by pagans that the sack of Rome in 410 AD was punishment for abandoning the gods of Rome for Christianity. Throughout the first ten books of his work, Augustine critiques the Roman religion and philosophy from the multitude of deities and the contradictory beliefs related to them as well as the conflicting philosophies that supported and opposed them. The second part, consisting of the last twelve books of the work, discussed the titular City of God and how it relates with the city of man—the present world.

Augustine’s critique of pagan religion and philosophy in the first part of the book is honestly the highlight of the book. Not only did he defend Christianity but also exposed the contradictions within pagan religious beliefs a well as numerous schools of philosophies which defended or opposed those beliefs. If there was one downside within the first part, it would have been the troubling theological ideas that Augustine espoused that seemed more based on Plato than the Bible. However, it was in the second part of book that Augustine’s faulty theology truly became apparent so much so that I had to begin skimming through the text to prevent myself from contradicting Augustine in my head instead of reading. While not all of Augustine’s theology is wrong, God’s omniscience and human free will is an example, some of the defining examples I want to cover is the following: the immortality of the soul and eternal burning in hell connected to it, the claims that passages from the Old Testament are analogies for Christ and the church, that all of Psalms are prophecies written by David, the angels were created on the third day, and many more. It became too frustrating to stay focused and I admittedly might have skimmed over some of Augustine’s better theological arguments, but it was that or tossing the book.

City of God is both the refutation of pagan Roman practices and the theological understanding of Augustine for Christian believers. It’s importance for medieval Christianity and thought cannot be underscored enough, however that does not mean that every reader should not look at it critically. ( )
  mattries37315 | Jun 3, 2018 |
Written by St. Augustine of Hippo (354 - 430) in Latin in the 5th Century under the title De civitate Dei contra paganos. First published 1467

From the publisher:

"St. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, is one of the central figures in the history of Christianity, and City of God is one of his greatest theological works. Written as an eloquent defence of the faith at a time when the Roman Empire was on the brink of collapse, it examines the ancient pagan religions of Rome, the arguments of the Greek philosophers and the revelations of the Bible. Pointing the way forward to a citizenship that transcends worldly politics and will last for eternity, City of God is one of the most influential documents in the development of Christianity." "This edition contains a new introduction that examines the text in the light of contemporary Greek and Roman thought and political change. It demonstrates the importance of religious and literary influences on St. Augustine and his significance as a Christian thinker. There is also a chronology and a bibliography."

From The Britannica:

"The City of God, philosophical treatise vindicating Christianity written by the medieval philosopher Saint Augustine as De civitate Dei about 413–426 ce. A masterpiece of Western culture, The City of God was written in response to pagan claims that the sack of Rome by barbarians in 410 was one of the consequences of the abolition of pagan worship by Christian emperors. St. Augustine responded by asserting, to the contrary, that Christianity saved the city from complete destruction and that Rome’s fall was the result of internal moral decay. He further outlined his vision of two societies, that of the elect (“The City of God”) and that of the damned (“The City of Man”). These “cities” are symbolic embodiments of the two spiritual powers—faith and unbelief—that have contended with each other since the fall of the angels. They are inextricably intermingled on this earth and will remain so until time’s end. St. Augustine also developed his theological interpretation of human history, which he perceives as linear and predestined, beginning with creation and ending with the Second Coming of Christ.

The City of God was one of the most influential works of the Middle Ages. St. Augustine’s famous theory that people need government because they are sinful served as a model for church-state relations in medieval times. He also influenced the work of Thomas Aquinas and John Calvin and many other theologians throughout the centuries."
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  St-Johns-Episcopal | Jun 14, 2017 |
a theological classic, a huge work. Best parts are where he discusses issues of predestination, the source of evil, the history and source of pagan religions and the reality of demonic powers. Also his discussion and interpretation of Revelation 20 and the millennium; and his extensive discussions on Genesis. In some places it might be alleged that he held views akin to Roman Catholicism in regard to purgatory and the sacramental and ecclesiastical system. However, this is not a major part of this work and much of it must be understood in the context of the 4th and 5th century, not in the context of Roman Catholicism from the 13th century onwards. The major weakness I feel in this work is his over-emphasis on the immortality of the soul, something which he admits is in line with Platonist philosophy. This is not established Biblically. He is morally conservative, in a liberalistic pagan society, this we need to take note of in the church today. Overall this is a great work to read, written by a great man, although let us remember he was still but a man. Very glad to have read it - worth the effort. ( )
  matthewgray | Jan 2, 2017 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
St. Augustineprimary authorall editionscalculated
Barker, ErnestIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bettenson, HenryTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bettenson, Henry ScowcroftTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Bourke, Vernon J.secondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dods, MarcusTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gilson, EtienneIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Giry, LouisTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Healey, JohnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Honan, Daniel J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Knowles, Davidsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Merton, ThomasIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Monahan, GraceTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tasker, R.V.G.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Walsh, Gerald GrovelandTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zema, Demetrius B.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0140448942, Paperback)

Augustine's City of God, a monumental work of religious lore, philosophy, and history, was written as a kind of literary tombstone for Roman culture. After the sack of Rome, Augustine wrote this book to anatomize the corruption of Romans' pursuit of earthly pleasures: "grasping for praise, open-handed with their money; honest in the pursuit of wealth, they wanted to hoard glory." Augustine contrasts his condemnation of Rome with an exaltation of Christian culture. The glory that Rome failed to attain will only be realized by citizens of the City of God, the Heavenly Jerusalem foreseen in Revelation. Because City of God was written for men of classical learning--custodians of the culture Augustine sought to condemn--it is thick with Ciceronian circumlocutions, and makes many stark contrasts between "Your Virgil" and "Our Scriptures." Even if Augustine's prose strikes modern ears as a bit bombastic, and if his polarized Christian/pagan world is more binary than the one we live in today, his arguments against utopianism and his defense of the richness of Christian culture remain useful and strong. City of God is, as its final words proclaim itself to be, "a giant of a book." --Michael Joseph Gross

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:59 -0400)

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"St. Augustine of Hippo, is one of the central figures in the history of Christianity, and this book is one of his greatest theological works. Written as an eloquent defense of the faith at a time when the Roman Empire was on the brink of collapse, it examines the ancient pagan religions of Rome, the arguments of the Greek philosophers and the revelations of the Bible. Pointing the way forward to a citizenship that transcends worldly politics and will last for eternity, this book is one of the most influential documents in the development of Christianity" -- www.christianbook.com.… (more)

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