Book Nine was short, but fairly tedious. In these thirty pages Augustine debates the nature of demons, who are believed to serve as intermediaries between men and the gods. Most in Augustine's day believed there were good and bad demons, and Augustine explores, then refutes, this notion, along with the belief that demons can serve … Continue reading City of God, Book 9: Demon Go-Betweens
In Book Eight Augustine leaves behind his discussion of the religion of the theatre and the temple, of the people on the street, and focuses his attention on "they who profess to be 'lovers of wisdom'". If wisdom is identified with God, then these men are lovers of God, but, contends Augustine, not everything that … Continue reading City of God, Book 8: Close, but no Cigar
Book 7 almost beat me. I got a bit bogged down even though it's only forty-some pages. Much of the ground Augustine covers here has been well trodden in early books, but thankfully it includes an incredible section of Christian theology that leads almost to doxology. He begins outlining his purpose explicitly, "I am using … Continue reading City of God, Book 7: From Apologetic to Worship
Augustine's Book 6 continues his dismantling of Roman religion and philosophy. In particular, Book 6 addresses those who would claim that the gods are to be worshiped for what they give in the next life, not the material blessings they give in this life. Of course, Christians do indeed worship the One True God and … Continue reading City of God, Book 6: Trust these gods?
Book Five is the most theological so far, covering ground I am more familiar with (more familiar than Roman history and myth). It is Augustine's goal to demonstrate that Rome's expansion was due to God's plan and give some insight into why God allowed the Roman Empire to conquer and grow. Augustine states in unequivocally … Continue reading City of God, Book 5: Fate?