By James Wetzel
Augustine's urban of God has profoundly motivated the process Western political philosophy, yet there are few courses to its labyrinthine argumentation that carry jointly the fragile interaction of faith and philosophy in Augustine's concept. The essays during this quantity provide a wealthy exam of these issues, utilizing the important, contested contrast among a heavenly urban on earthly pilgrimage and a mundane urban sure for perdition to difficult points of Augustine's political and ethical imaginative and prescient. themes mentioned comprise Augustine's suggestion of the secular, his critique of pagan advantage, his departure from classical eudaimonism, his mythology of sin, his dystopian politics, his astounding recognition to woman our bodies, his ethical psychology, his valorisation of affection, his critique of empire and his perception of a Christian philosophy. jointly the essays enhance our figuring out of Augustine's such a lot influential paintings and supply a wealthy evaluation of Augustinian political theology and its philosophical implications.
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Extra resources for Augustine's City of God: A Critical Guide
He distinguishes between two ways of proceeding philosophically, both of which can be found in Augustine, early and late. ” Augustine is no position to learn what is advanced about Advanced Philosophy until he has ﬁrst pursued a general program of truth-seeking and come to see its limitations. General Philosophy enables him to defeat skepticism, secure an intelligible domain of mathematics and logic, and touch upon a mind that is markedly greater than the human, but this form of philosophy is incapable of taking him much beyond his self-obsessions.
Eusebius had followed earlier Greek chronographers in including notices on eminent Greek poets, philosophers, orators, and historians amid the records of political history. In a preface, moreover, he had made much of the fact that, on his dating, Moses not only came before Homer and Hesiod but even before the so-called “theological poets,” Linus, Musaeus, and Orpheus. And since Homer came long before Thales and the other “Seven Sages” (sophoi, sapientes), who in turn preceded Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato, and their fellow self-styled “philosophers,” the priority of Hebrew over Greek cultural tradition was assured; the tabulation of the Chronicle, which presented the records of the various “nations” in parallel columns, was designed to make that assurance visible.
These supposed deities of nature, like the deities popularly worshipped in place of long-dead human beings, were merely the imposture of demons (fallen angels) who liked to be taken for gods (civ. 33). 34–35). Augustine inferred from Varro that Numa had communed with demons who had revealed to him the origins of the rites of Roman religion. Afraid to disclose what he had learned, yet not wishing to oﬀend his informants, Numa had committed these mysteries to books that, after his death, were buried with him on the Janiculum at Rome.
Augustine's City of God: A Critical Guide by James Wetzel