Spiritual Augustine: City of God - v 1 - 23 May 07
#1  RWood 05-23-2007, 11:39 PM
One of the great books books of Western thinking. Although his Confessions is part of the Harvard Classics, The City of God is not. In so many ways this is a far more important work than the Confessions.

For some reason this is not on Project Gutenberg and was assembled from multiple sources with my well worn paperback as a reference. The City of God is divided into 22 books with multiple chapters per book. Only the books are referenced in the Table of Contents as some of the chapters are quite short (a paragraph) while others are quite long and this produced a very uneven output.

Many of the sources had the direct Bible references in-line with the text and these have been preserved in this version. I wish I had had this version when I first read the book.

For those wishing an introduction to The City of God, I suggest this by James J. O'Donnell. For more detailed analysis (read study guide) go to Spark Notes.

From Wiikpedia:

Augustine wrote the treatise to explain Christianity's relationship with competing religions and philosophies, and to the Roman government with which it was increasingly intertwined. It was written soon after Rome was sacked by the Visigoths in 410. This event left Romans in a deep state of shock, and many saw it as punishment for abandoning their pagan religion. It was in this atmosphere that Augustine set out to provide a consolation of Christianity, writing that it was the City of God that would ultimately triumph — symbolically, Augustine's eyes were fixed on heaven, a theme repeated in many Late Antiquity Christian art forms.

Despite Christianity's designation as the official religion of the empire, Augustine declared its message to be spiritual rather than political. Christianity, he argued, should be concerned with the mystical, heavenly City of Jerusalem (the New Jerusalem) rather than with Earthly politics. His theology supported and even helped to define the separation of Church and State that characterized Western European politics through the Middle Ages and beyond (unlike the Byzantine East where Earthly politics and spiritual affairs were one and the same institution).

The book presents human history as being a conflict between what Augustine calls the City of God and the City of Man (a conflict that is destined to end in victory for the former). The City of God is marked by people who forgo earthly pleasure and dedicate themselves to the promotion of Christian values. The City of Man, on the other hand, consists of people who have strayed from the City of God. The two cities are not meant to represent any actual places or organizations, though Augustine clearly thought that the Christian Church was at the heart of the City of God.

While the book is framed by discussion of these themes, it is largely made up of various digressions on philosophical subjects and presentations of flaws in pagan religions upon which Augustine wished to comment.
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#2  Roy White 05-23-2007, 11:56 PM
RWood. All I can say is... AAAAWWWEEESSSOONMMEEEE!!!

What a great resource this website is!

I'm thinking of begginnnig to cre4ate a fully linked bible... Linked to book and chapter anyway... I'm not going to link each verse.. I know a huge task that will keep me from creating anything else for a month or more. But i would love to have that kind of access. I downloaded the WEB bible because its legal to share in this forum even though i love the Nasb...

I'm just not sure how I will keep track of thousands of links though..

#3  HarryT 05-24-2007, 04:37 AM
Someone's already done a version of the WEB Bible for the Reader. Do a search for it, and you'll find it!

#4  Patricia 05-24-2007, 08:02 PM
A wonderful book. I studied it as a postgraduate. I love the image of the two cities: the city of God and the earthly city (Jerusalem and Rome) being mingled till the end of time.
People often think of Augustine as dogmatic but he is really a very humane thinker, with a sympathy for human frailty.

#5  Roy White 05-24-2007, 09:46 PM
I searched. I found it.. I'm downloading it now... This could save me Many tedious hours of work.. Where do I send the check? It is EXACTLY What I am already starting to do. Wow. Now I dont have to.. Wonderful. I got my reader a couple of days ago and downloaded my free books from Sony connect. What a clunky website! I love it! I filled up the internal memory already and am working on the 3 gig sd card i put in there. The "Collections" Feature is great on the software but why can you only put books in collections that are on the internal memory? I read sometimes 10 to 15 books at a time so the bookmark feature is perfect. I just bookmark when i get ready to switch books or get ready to turn it off.. Walla. The book is right there waiting when i return to it. I dont seem to have a problem navigating through 138 books. Ok so i have to look at 13 pages. but I have almost all the books in my internal memory in the Collections already. I used to have top drive 30 minutes to the library or Borders books, Then browse the stacks for 30 minutes or so. Buy a book or check one out after standing in line for 5 minutes... Drive home.. To navigate through 13 pages is a Piece of Cake compared to all that...

I'm a happy camper!

#6  tsgreer 05-24-2007, 11:46 PM
Thanks so much for posting this book! I've never read it, but I have heard a lot about it. Now it's on my list. Thanks so much for your wonderful work!

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