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Die Gottesbürgerschaft. De civitate dei. Hrsg. und eingel. von Hans…

von St. Augustine

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5,185321,577 (3.97)90
One of the great cornerstones in the history of Christian philosophy, The City of God provides an insightful interpretation of the development of modern Western society and the origin of most Western thought. Contrasting earthly and heavenly cities--representing the omnipresent struggle between good and evil--Augustine explores human history in its relation to all eternity. In Thomas Merton's words, "The City of God is the autobiography of the Church written by the most Catholic of her great saints." This Modern Library Paperback Classics edition is a complete and unabridged version of the Marcus Dods translation.… (mehr)
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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 |
NA
  pszolovits | Feb 3, 2021 |
CG-2
  Murtra | Oct 27, 2020 |
keine Rezensionen | Rezension hinzufügen

» Andere Autoren hinzufügen (307 möglich)

AutorennameRolleArt des AutorsWerk?Status
St. AugustineHauptautoralle Ausgabenberechnet
Barker, ErnestEinführungCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Bettenson, HenryÜbersetzerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Bourke, Vernon J.Co-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Dods, MarcusÜbersetzerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Dods, MarcusÜbersetzerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Facetti, GermanoUmschlaggestalterCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Gilson, EtienneEinführungCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Giry, LouisÜbersetzerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Healey, JohnÜbersetzerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Honan, Daniel J.ÜbersetzerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Knowles, DavidCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Mayes, BernardErzählerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
McCallion, DavidErzählerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Meadows, MarkErzählerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Merton, ThomasEinführungCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Monahan, GraceÜbersetzerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Slider, DarynErzählerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Tasker, R.V.G.HerausgeberCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Walsh, Gerald GrovelandÜbersetzerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
Zema, Demetrius B.ÜbersetzerCo-Autoreinige Ausgabenbestätigt
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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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Wikipedia auf Englisch (2)

One of the great cornerstones in the history of Christian philosophy, The City of God provides an insightful interpretation of the development of modern Western society and the origin of most Western thought. Contrasting earthly and heavenly cities--representing the omnipresent struggle between good and evil--Augustine explores human history in its relation to all eternity. In Thomas Merton's words, "The City of God is the autobiography of the Church written by the most Catholic of her great saints." This Modern Library Paperback Classics edition is a complete and unabridged version of the Marcus Dods translation.

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