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City of God

Tekijä: Saint Augustine

Muut tekijät: Katso muut tekijät -osio.

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Written after the capture of Rome in 410 by Alaric, King of the Visigoths, St Augustine's City of God was intended as a response to pagan critics who blamed Christianity for this brutal defeat. Augustine attacks ancient pagan beliefs and relates the corruption and immorality that led to Rome's downfall, which began before Christ, before reaching his main argument: that the City of Man is perishing and only the Heavenly City of God will endure. Members of the City of Man, misled by vanities and futile laws, will suffer the same fate as the Romans, while those of the City of God, who act in harmony with God's will, will reach salvation and paradise. Monumental in its scope, City of God is a theological and philosophical treasure trove that offers fascinating insights into the perennial problems of Christian philosophy, such as free will and the problem of evil, as well as the longstanding conflict between church and state.… (lisätietoja)
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Concerning the City of God Against the Pagans 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. 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. Augustine also developed his theological interpretation of human history, which he perceives as linear and predestined, beginning with the Creation and ending with the Second Coming of Christ. At this work’s heart is a powerful contrarian vision of human life, one which accepts the place of disaster, death, and disappointment while holding out hope of a better life to come, a hope that in turn eases and gives direction to life in this world.

The City of God is divided into 22 books. The first 10 refute the claims to divine power of various pagan communities. The last 12 retell the biblical story of humankind from Genesis to the Last Judgment, offering what Augustine presents as the true history of the City of God, against which, and only against which, the history of the City of Man, including the history of Rome, can be properly understood. The stinging attack on paganism in the first books is memorable and effective; the encounter with Platonism in Books VIII–X is of great philosophical significance; and the last books (especially Book XIX, with a vision of true peace) offer a view of human destiny that would be widely persuasive for at least a thousand years. ( )
  Marcos-Augusto | Jun 17, 2024 |
"𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘷𝘦𝘯 𝘪𝘴 𝘢 𝘣𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘺, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘪𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘸𝘦 𝘴𝘩𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘧𝘪𝘯𝘥 𝘰𝘶𝘳 𝘱𝘦𝘢𝘤𝘦."

this lovely quote is from augustine's "city of god," a philosophical and theological dissertation that investigates the nature of God, mankind, and the universe. and by philosophical dissertation, i mean augustine having a written argument between the entire city of rome and himself. after the Christian faith came under attack after the sack of Rome in 410 AD, augustine penned this book to defend it. basically, he wasn't gonna have anyone diss what he valued most in the world; his religion and god. and contrary to popular belief, augustine argues in "City of God" that the collapse of the Roman Empire was not caused by Christianity but rather by the corruption and decadence of the empire itself! essentially, augustine's saying that rome was already falling LONG before jesus was even introduced to rome. a bold claim, i know!

how does he argue this? well, he divides society into two groups: the "City of God" people (or people who love God and strive to do good), and the "City of Man" people (those who don't follow God and often make poor decisions). with that, augustine asserts that even if there is much evil in the world, god isn't to blame, and because us humans have free will and sometimes make poor decisions, we have to trust in God and attempt to be a nice person in order to be happy. so, augustine is essentially saying to stop blaming god for your screwups and admit to your mistakes. man up!

though i'm not religious, even i agree that augustine's brilliant understanding of human experience and spirituality remains one of the most influential works in the christian faith in general, and prompts deep thoughts and a healthy dose of faith. with that, i'd recommend this book for any aspiring philosophy beginners (especially those who aren't religious!)

thanks for reading, and i hope you have a lovely day!

arwa ( )
  philosophiia | Feb 6, 2023 |
Under the shock of the election results, I looked for a book that would help me think about reconciling the demands of being a citizen and a Christian. This venerable masterpiece seemed as good a place to start as any. I began reading the 19th century Dods translation in the Great Books set, also widely available for free online. It’s not bad, based on the passages I compared with the Latin original, which can also be read online (thelatinlibrary.com). Nevertheless, to reduce the difficulty a bit, I switched to the recent translation by R. W. Dyson. I regret that my Latin isn’t good enough for me to read the book in the original. In one passage I compared, it took Dods and Dyson each 19 words to render what Augustine said elegantly in eight. And yet both were good translations.
In all, I found the book long, repetitive, and not always consistent (see for example his discussion of free will), but still valuable. One benefit of reading it was to become aware of how different the world in which Christianity took its classic form was from ours. His defense of God takes place against the background of a polytheistic society. Not only the existence of God or gods was rarely questioned; Augustine lived in a time when the existence of mediating beings—angels, demons—was unquestioned. Most held that the highest God had no direct dealing with humans.
Another difference between then and now: Ever since the Enlightenment, many have insisted an atheist could be an ethical person; in other words, they have argued for uncoupling morality and faith. Augustine, though, wrote at a time when he could point to the ethical component in the Judeo-Christian tradition as one of the traits that made it superior to polytheism. The Judeo-Christian God was the first to demand ethical behavior from his followers—something the pagan gods neither demanded nor modeled. Further, Augustine could assume that all thinking people, Christian and non-Christian, shared the assumption of a final end, or ultimate good, in life. Drawing on Plato—his primary partner in dialogue among the philosophers—Augustine denies that this could be found in that which pertains either to the mind or the body, and certainly not in anything extrinsic (money, honor, etc.), but in that which the mind contemplates, i.e., the God who is the cause of all. In other words, the most important thing in life was to achieve the blessed life after this life, and therefore Augustine limits the discussion to how this can be gained. Augustine’s argument ultimately rests on the divergent eternal fate of the citizens of the two cities: never-ending torment or everlasting bliss in the presence of God. So this book is a reminder of how far concern has shifted from the afterlife to this one.
It was also valuable to finally read what Augustine believed happened in Eden. One of the first things I knew about Augustine, long before I read him, was that he was certain Adam got an erection right after eating the fruit Eve proffered. In essence, those who reduce Augustine for popular consumption cut straight to the money shot. But reading about it in context—from chapter 16 on in Book XIV—I’m struck by how psychologically acute Augustine is. Nevertheless, he suffers here, as through the entire work, from his rigorous soul/body duality. Physiology has made some progress since his time.
As for help in thinking about the at times complementary, at times contradictory demands of citizenship and faith, one theme was helpful. That was Augustine’s definition of populus, a people. To him, it is a group bound together not by race nor language, but “an assembled multitude of rational creatures bound together by common agreement as to the objects of their love” (XIX:24).
Who should read this book today? Certainly, anyone who is wrestling with the conflicting claims of faith and patriotism, looking for a classic formulation of the dilemma. Beyond that, I imagine the book would interest anyone exploring Christian interaction with Greek philosophical tradition. Most other readers, I’m afraid, will be put off by its length, its density. Those who take it on nonetheless will come across many insights surprisingly relevant for our time, even though far removed from the world in which it was written. ( )
  HenrySt123 | Jul 19, 2021 |
The City Of God - Volume 2 is an unchanged, high-quality reprint of the original edition of 1871. Hansebooks is editor of the literature on different topic areas such as research and science, travel and expeditions, cooking and nutrition, medicine, and other genres. As a publisher we focus on the preservation of historical literature. Many works of historical writers and scientists are available today as antiques only. Hansebooks newly publishes these books and contributes to the preservation of literature which has become rare and historical knowledge for the future.
  OLibrary | Jul 1, 2021 |
Not an easy book, translated from the original Latin, to read. Augustine (354-430) discusses, in 22 books, two main themes. In the first half of the work (books I-X), he details the development of Roman paganism, refutes the famous philosophers of his day, and explains why the Greek and Roman gods, being demons, should not have been worshiped. In the second half (books XI-XXII) , he pours on the theology in tracing the parallel development of the earthly city (Rome) and the Heavenly City (the New Jerusalem). Those who worship the one true God go to heaven while those who don't go to hell. ( )
  Jimbookbuff1963 | Jun 5, 2021 |
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» Lisää muita tekijöitä (302 mahdollista)

Tekijän nimiRooliTekijän tyyppiKoskeeko teosta?Tila
Augustine, SaintTekijäensisijainen tekijäkaikki painoksetvahvistettu
Barker, ErnestJohdantomuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Bettenson, HenryKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Bourke, Vernon J.muu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Dods, MarcusKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Dods, MarcusKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Facetti, GermanoKannen suunnittelijamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Gilson, EtienneJohdantomuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Giry, LouisKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Healey, JohnKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Honan, Daniel J.Kääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Knowles, Davidmuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Mayes, BernardKertojamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
McCallion, DavidKertojamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Meadows, MarkKertojamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Merton, ThomasJohdantomuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Monahan, GraceKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Slider, DarynKertojamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Tasker, R.V.G.Toimittajamuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Walsh, Gerald GrovelandKääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu
Zema, Demetrius B.Kääntäjämuu tekijäeräät painoksetvahvistettu

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Here, my dear Marcellinus, is the fulfilment of my promise, a book in which I have taken upon myself the task of defending the glorious City of God against those who prefer their own gods to the Founder of that City.--Bettenson translation (1984)
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Written after the capture of Rome in 410 by Alaric, King of the Visigoths, St Augustine's City of God was intended as a response to pagan critics who blamed Christianity for this brutal defeat. Augustine attacks ancient pagan beliefs and relates the corruption and immorality that led to Rome's downfall, which began before Christ, before reaching his main argument: that the City of Man is perishing and only the Heavenly City of God will endure. Members of the City of Man, misled by vanities and futile laws, will suffer the same fate as the Romans, while those of the City of God, who act in harmony with God's will, will reach salvation and paradise. Monumental in its scope, City of God is a theological and philosophical treasure trove that offers fascinating insights into the perennial problems of Christian philosophy, such as free will and the problem of evil, as well as the longstanding conflict between church and state.

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