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City of God


Publisher writes

St Augustine, bishop of Hippo, was 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 the best political experiences of the world and offers citizenship that will last for eternity, "City of God" is one of the most influential documents in the development of Christianity.

Author Information

Saint Augustine, (translated by Henry Bettenson), (introduction by G. R. Evans)

St Augustine of Hippo was the great Doctor of the Latin Church. Born in North Africa in AD 354, he was brought up as a Christian and at 16 went to Carthage to finish his education. Until 387, Augustine followed the Manichean religion and founded his own school of rhetoric in Rome. After his baptism, he returned to Africa and lived in the community he formed there until his death in 430. His written output there includes Confessions and City of God, among over 113 books.

Judges' and contributors' comments

Cally Hammond: A work which, like the Summa, is there not because it is lovely but because it is true and good.  A comprehensive vision of the divine purposes in creation, human history, and the eternal now in heaven.

Jenny Monds: Another book by St Augustine in the top 10, but we felt that it was impossible to put this major work any further down the list.

Mark Oakley: In an increasingly metropolised world, this is an important work that asks us who and what cities and cultures are ultimately for. In the City in which I live there has been talk of a financial crisis but Augustine helps us see it is actually a human crisis – and an urgent one. 

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