The City of God (Works of Aurelius Augustine 2)
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The City of God (Works of Aurelius Augustine 2)

3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  4,920 ratings  ·  211 reviews
This scarce antiquarian book is included in our special Legacy Reprint Series. In the interest of creating a more extensive selection of rare historical book reprints, we have chosen to reproduce this title even though it may possibly have occasional imperfections such as missing and blurred pages, missing text, poor pictures, markings, dark backgrounds and other reproduct...more
Published June 1st 2007 (first published 426)
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Bud Smith
ok, this is my one brag book. anybody who gets through this (unabridged only), gets to go to heaven, no questions asked.

I only had to read half of this for school. But it was still really long.

Imagine you're in a math class. And the teacher says, "Now we're going to learn about numbers: one plus one is two, two plus two is four, etc." And you think, "Yeah. Okay. I get that." Then all of a sudden, while your mind wanders around, the teacher says, "So now that you've got that, let's talk about calculus." And then your brain explodes from the jump that it just made.

This is sort of how City of God treated me. A...more
Joshua Nomen-Mutatio
Could not finish it. Don't care to. It's a rather lengthy and often times boring read. I got enough of the gist by making it about halfway through and then skipping around through the rest. His unsurprising righteous indignation about the truth and beauty of 4th century Christian doctrine and the falsity and demoralizing nature of "paganism" makes me want to run for the bathroom. But when I look upon it as a book written by a man whose mind would've been blown by the mere revelation that the Ear...more
Chris Comis
One of the best books ever written. Augustine wrote this just as Rome was coming to an end. Part of the impetus was to show that the City of God was not confined to the Roman Empire, but would outlast any earthly empire. The amount of detail he poured into describing the pagan culture of his time was also amazing. Also, he offers some fascinating theological insights towards the end of the book.

If you want to understand Western Christendom, you really have to read this book from cover to cover.
David Boyce
Evolution was a religious Idea. Back in 410 Augustine, Bishop of Hippo in North Africa was the first to describe evolution by natural selection. "We see a constant succession, as some things pass away and others arise, as the weaker succumb to the stronger, and those that are overwhelmed change into the qualities of their conquerors; and thus we have a pattern of a world of continual transience."

This book is a tremendous work. At 1090 pages long it is a vast collection of religious musings and t...more
Rob Roy
This is a monumental work of theology. Written just after the sacking of Rome, it starts by answering how God could allow a Christian city to fall. This proceeds with a detailed attack on paganism, and a defense of Christianity. He belabors these points, but then goes on to a treatise on Christian theology which sets a decided uncompromising tone. He endorses the predestination arguments later made by Calvin, and shows a narrow moral view. What you get is an excellent view of the early Christian...more
I had no idea what I was getting into when I began this book. It sometimes felt like it would never end, but it was a great experience. First, I discovered how early on very basic doctrines were lost. I loved what he says about the trinity. I was fascinated by how he defined demons (man-made gods). I would define a demon as a devil's angel. Also interesting to me was Augustine's take on the God of Israel's name being the conjugated Hebrew verb "to be" rendered "I am that I am." To me, this seems...more
I don't really know how to review something like this in a format that I've used primarily for rating fiction, but I'll give it a shot.

The three stars are not meant as some kind of snobbish modern judgment on The City of God but my attempt to balance its theological and historical significance with the difficulty and not infrequent irrelevancy of the material. Augustine was adept at philosophy and rhetoric, keen in his exegetical analysis, and thorough in his argumentation, but many of the topi...more
One of the great classics in all of Christian--no, check that--human history, The City of God presents two contrasting groups of people, or to use the imagery of the book, two contrasting cities: the earthly and the heavenly. Everyone in the world falls into either one city or the other, and Augustine painstakingly lays out their origins, their history, and their destiny.

This fifth century book was the classic Christian book throughout the church's history until the individualism of the Enlighte...more
This book weighs in at over 1,000 pages - 22 books in the original. Fortunately for the reader, St. Augustine frequently wanders from his main theme, for many pages at a time, providing fascinating explorations of why the number 11 symbolises sin (short answer: it transgresses the perfect 10 of the Decalogue); of how the Ark of Noah is an allegory of Christ; of the creation and fall of the angels, and of much, much more.

These questions are digressions, but they do help to make the book palatabl...more
Amy C.
Jan 19, 2014 Amy C. is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: faith
Reading this along with a Facebook group. Just through book One now and really enjoying the book and the experience with the reading circle. The group's organizer posts a reading schedule and regular comments with the readings, and other commenters have been so valuable to read. I'm getting so much out of it because of the group. If you're reading it now or want to read it, check out the Reading the City of God group on Facebook.
Gwen Burrow
Stunning. Not just a theologically good book, but also an enjoyable one.
Czarny Pies
Aug 30, 2014 Czarny Pies rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who find it on the required reading list of a course they are enrolled it.
Recommended to Czarny by: Required reading for an undergraduate course
Shelves: greek-and-roman
I give this book a four star rating in recognition of its enormous importance in world history. There is a strong argument for not reading it given the wildly different results that are obtained depending whether the edition that you happen upon is a Calvinistic or a Roman Catholic project.

St. Augustine's first achievement is to demonstrate the strengths of Christianity versus Pagan religion and Pagan Philosophy. His second achievement is that he provides a comforting explanation of why the Visi...more
I stumbled across Augustine when I was teenager and I remember this being much more profound. Having just reread it cover to cover, I was wholly disappointed. Augustine writes in response to attacks on Christianity for which the decline of the Roman Empire is being increasingly blamed. The first half of the book criticizes, effectively, the irrationality of pagan belief. However, he fails to turn the same clear-eyed analysis to Christianity. In one of the more painfully oblivious passages, Augus...more
Often brilliant. Occasionally tedious.

Here are some quotes that stood out to me:

"I am sick of recalling the many acts of revolting injustice which have disturbed the city's history; the powerful classes did their best to subjugate the lower orders, and the lower orders resisted - the leaders of each side motivated more by ambition for victory than by any ideas of equity and morality." Book II, 17

"At the beginning of history the supreme power over races and nations rested with kings, who rose to...more
Okay, from what I read, which certainly wasn't the whole book, there are a few useful ideas here. Augustine does an excellent job (though unintentionally) of showing how religious doctrines do not come about by an organic, bottom up process, but are the products of artificial acts of committees and compilers. And he also shows how large institutions are necessary in order to keep a doctrine going once it gains a modicum of acceptance. But honestly, I found this work overall to be hopelessly reac...more
4 stars just for style alone--it's so perfectly organized and clear, despite the convoluted subject matter, and sometimes so charmingly snarky, it just made me want to go back in time and hug him. His theology is a little disappointing, though. It felt to me like half of it was perfectly coherent and logical, but unfortunately no longer relevant to the modern world (such as debunking some pagan beliefs of his time), while the other half was relevant and interesting, but weak on logic. He does ha...more
May 31, 2008 Andre marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Considered by Augustine his magnum opus, this is an interesting book. Written as the Roman Empire was crumbling and doubts about why God would allow the christianized Rome to dissolve, Augustine went about showing where the real City of God exists. I wanted to read this book for several reasons: obviously it is classic and also I enjoy reading Augustine, but at the same time I am sometimes puzzled why we so earnestly labor to prove that America was the new Israel? I think that this book would be...more
Jan Madden
An amazing book in a lot of ways. The vocabulary and philosophy is beautiful. At times I had to read with a dictionary in hand to really get the meaning behind the words. It was refreshing to see that the thinking of Saint Augustine encompassed similar thoughts and concerns we find ourselves involved with today. He was obviously a well read/educated/thoughtful man. I did feel that I got more from the condensed foreword. The translation of the original writing was burdensome to read. I found myse...more
I read The City of God over six months last year in a translation by Henry Bettenson which runs to 1091 pages in my Penguin Classics edition. As Joe Morecraft says, this is a book on everything. I am not going to review it; all I feel that I can do is gesture helplessly in its general direction.

Read the rest at my blog, In Which I Read Vintage Novels.
The City of God is a work of almost infinite tedium, in which Augustine sets out to contrast the history of the titular city with the course of secular society. Along the way he indulges every half-baked whim of biblical exegesis, shoddy philosophy, selective reasoning, and fanciful speculation that pops into his head. Many readers have mistaken this random mishmash for depth of thought, and thus has City of God cemented its place among the "great works" of western civilization. What Bertrand Ru...more
I have now read almost 30% of this 1000 page book.
It is not an easy read, and is quite different from anything I've read before.
I am grateful to the folk who established a Facebook group for reading through the book in a year. Otherwise I would never have managed it.

I am not reading this edition, but am reading it via the Logos Bible Software Early Church Fathers collection on my iPad, just a page or three a day.

Augustine takes a long time to say anything, but it is interesting to read something...more
Augustine's epic masterpiece of theology. It covers a lot of topics, but its main theme is on the spiritual concepts of City of God and the City of Man, and how they have related through out the history of the world. It personally had a huge impact on my life. It's huge, but definitely worth reading, if only just parts of it.
Moses Operandi
This book is an excellent foundational text. Reading it, you can see the entire theology that was built on it. That said, it is repetitive. I swear it could probably be half the size. I know there's little point in going all literary critic on St. Augustine himself, but the Confessions was much more tightly focused and readable.
Héctor Rodríguez
Libro abandonado, demasiado repetitivo y no deja las cosas claras.
James Violand
Jul 08, 2014 James Violand rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone.
Shelves: own
This is one of my favorite works. Yeah, I know you're skeptical, but here me out. I've begun my quest to read the basic works of western man beginning with Gilgamesh and in sequence reading through to the present. It's a lifelong ambition. I've read most of the ancient works of some repute, including Roman histories from Greek and Roman historians. When I arrived at 411 AD, I picked up The City of God. Shortly after the first sack of Rome, Augustine wrote it not as an apology for the claim that...more
This is simply an initial reaction book review. Further and deeper thoughts will follow on a blog somewhere...

I have finished reading City of God. It is a massive book. It took me a year plus a few months to achieve this, albeit sometimes going weeks without peaking inside. This is one of the largest works from antiquity, and it's basically an education in a volume -- history, the theory of history, theology, biblical scholarship, pagan religion, philosophy, political philosophy, moral philosoph...more
Peter Crouse
The first half of The City of God is a refutation against paganism and is Augustine at his combative and vitriolic best. Drawing on examples from early Roman history and Pagan theology, he mocks the old gods for their inability to aid the faithful or prevent disaster. Augustine goes on to assert that, in contrast to the Christian God, Jupiter and Co. are incapable of producing moral uprightness in their adherents. How could “these debauchees and gourmands, their mouths watering for fat sacrifice...more
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Which editions of Augustine's City of God would you recommend? 2 9 Dec 15, 2013 10:14PM  
  • Summa Theologica, 5 Vols
  • On the Incarnation
  • The Major Works (World's Classics)
  • On the Apostolic Preaching
  • Three Treatises
  • Apologia Pro Vita Sua (A Defense of One's Life) (Dover Giant Thrift Editions)
  • The History of the Church: From Christ to Constantine
  • Against Christianity
  • The Christian Tradition 2: The Spirit of Eastern Christendom 600-1700
  • Angels in the Architecture: A Protestant Vision for Middle Earth
  • Saint Thomas Aquinas
  • The Complete Works
  • For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy
  • Introduction to the Devout Life
  • Augustine of Hippo: A Biography
  • Early Christian Doctrines
Augustine of Hippo, also known as St. Augustine, St. Austin, was bishop of Hippo Regius (present-day Annaba, Algeria). He was a Latin philosopher and theologian from the Africa Province of the Roman Empire and is generally considered as one of the greatest Christian thinkers of all times. His writings were very influential in the development of Western Christianity. According to his contemporary J...more
More about Augustine of Hippo...
Confessions (Oxford World's Classics) On Christian Doctrine On Free Choice of the Will The Trinity The Enchiridion on Faith Hope and Love (Augustine Series 1)

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