Augustine is considered to be the greatest Christian thinker of the first thousand years of the Church and the City of God is his greatest book. It is a book that influenced Western society more powerfully than perhaps any other book except the Bible.
To study the City of God is to study the source of some of Western society’s greatest and most cherished beliefs. The book serves as the cultural fountainhead of all that followed, and it is unlikely that it will ever be equaled.
No book except the Bible itself had a greater influence on the Middle Ages than “City of God.” Since medieval Europe was the cradle of today’s Western civilization, this work by consequence is vital for understanding our world and how it came into being. Saint Augustine is often regardarded as the most influential Christian thinker after Saint Paul, and “City of God “is his materpiece, a cast synthesis of religious and secular knowledge.
It began as a reply to the charge that Christian otherworldiness was causing the decline of the Roman Empire. Augustine produced a wealth of evidence to prove that paganism bore within itself the seeds of its own destruction. Then he proceeded to his larger theme, a cosmic interpretation of in terms of the struggle between good and evilL the City of God in conflict with the Earthly City or the City of the Devil. This, the first serious attempt at a philosophy of history, was to have incalculable influence in forming the Western mind on the relations of church and state, and on the Christian’s place in the temporal order.
The original “City of God” contained twenty-two books and filles three regular-sized volumes. This edition has been skillfully abridged for the intelligent general reader by Vernon J. Bourke, author of “Augustine’s Quest for Wisdom,” making the heart of this monumental work available to a wide audience.
cover may not be as shown