The City of God (LatinDe Civitate Dei, also known as De Civitate Dei contra Paganos, “The City of God against the Pagans“) is a book written in Latin by Augustine of Hippo in the early 5th century, dealing with issues concerning GodmartyrdomJews, and other aspects ofChristian philosophy.

Augustine wrote the treatise to explain Christianity’s relationship with competing religions and philosophies, and to the Roman government with which it was increasingly intertwined. It was written soon afterRome was sacked by the Visigoths in 410. This event left Romans in a deep state of shock, and many saw it as punishment for abandoning their Roman religion. It was in this atmosphere that Augustine set out to provide a consolation of Christianity, writing that, even if the earthly rule of the empire was imperilled, it was the City of God that would ultimately triumph — symbolically, Augustine’s eyes were fixed onheaven, a theme repeated in many Christian works of Late Antiquity.

Despite Christianity’s designation as the official religion of the empire, Augustine declared its message to be spiritual rather than political. Christianity, he argued, should be concerned with the mystical, heavenly city the New Jerusalem — rather than with Earthly politics.

The book presents human history as being a conflict between what Augustine calls the City of Man and the City of God (a conflict that is destined to end in victory of the latter). The City of God is marked by people who forgo earthly pleasure and dedicate themselves to the promotion of Christian values. The City of Man, on the other hand, consists of people who have strayed from the City of God. The two cities are not meant to represent any actual places or organizations, though Augustine clearly thought that the Christian Church was at the heart of the City of God.

While the book is framed by discussion of these themes, it is largely made up of various digressions on philosophical subjects and presentations of flaws in pagan religions upon which Augustine wished to comment. from wik

My Roommate Reed loves this book and has been wanting me to start reading it, it’s sitting on our kitchen table and I am starting to dig into this massive thing .

here’s a good google books link to photocopies of the pages

first of all early 410’s when he started it, originally to counter the defeated Romans who were lashing out at Christianity, but he goes into the structure of everything, this book seems to be pretty near the root.

If anyone knows of an earlier book of this depth, please point it out

Also before I dig too deep I’m looking into my versions authenticity since disinformation plagues books like this.

more review to come…

Wow do I feel silly, the book I have to read is actually “city of God” by Venerable Mary of Agreda

Venerable Mary of Agreda's Body has Remained Incorrupt for more than 340 years

Venerable Mary of Agreda's Body has Remained Incorrupt for more than 340 years

Mary of Agreda died on the 24th of May, 1665 A.D., on the Feast of Pentecost. Shortly afterwards, the process of the Ordinary was drawn up on the virtues and miracles in general of the fama sanctitatis. The petition for her canonization was offered November 21, 1671 A.D. Clement X introduced the cause on the 24th of August, 1672 A.D. The commission of introduction was signed January 28, 1673 A.D. The decree of non-culte was carried on June 27, 1674 A.D. The apostolic process on the sanctity, the virtues and miracles in general was begun on September 2, 1679 A.D. The process was opened, the servant of God declared Venerable, and, in fine, on the 16th of December, 1689 A.D., a committee of consulters was named by Innocent XI for the examination of the works. In fine, Clement XIV declared that the book, The Mystical City, really was written by Mary of Agreda (Rome officially verified the fact). Hopefully when the True Church overcomes the Evil Eclipse now upon it, Venerable Mary of Agreda will receive the rare and seldom seen, honor of beatification and then hopefully someday canonization (i.e. to be named a Roman Catholic Saint).

Here’s some quotes from a page that is critical of the book

Far more significant are the book’s errors in biology which are so profound as to discredit it completely as God’s own truth. As a woman of the seventeenth century, Mary of Agreda depends on Aristotle’s false theory of human reproduction in which the female is a mere incubator who provided blood to nourish the male seed. Thus the Virgin’s body arrives preformed in St. Joachim’s sperm, with no ovum from St. Anne required. By special grace, Holy Mary receives her soul on her seventh day in the womb, unlike other females who must wait eighty days. (I: pp.173-83)

The physiology of Christ’s conception is likewise grotesque. There is no Marian egg for the Incarnation: Jesus is conceived from three drops of blood literally squeezed out of his Mother’s heart (II: pp. 110-12). He has no need of placenta or amniotic sac either, which Mary of Agreda fancies to be consequences of Original Sin (II: pp 399-402). Jesus is, of course, ensouled immediately. (The abridged edition of The Mystical City of God camouflages these matters.)

Here’s a youtube video of franciscan friar, Fr. Peter Damian Mary Fehlner F.I. describing the book ,  seriously

Mother Agreda did not undertake the rewriting of the City of God until she had gone through what theologians call the “mystical death.”  She described this experience as “an absolute death of the animal and terrestrial life and its renovation and transformation into a celestial and angelic state of existence.”  During this time she was intuitively instructed, as she termed it, infused with knowledge or cosmically illuminated, as others describe it.  This made it possible for her to translate the most difficult Latin terms of theology into simple language that could be easily understood.  Since she was a girl from Spain’s mountain country and without formal education, many theologians have been mystified at the high quality of her writing and have pronounced her ability as nothing short of miraculous.  She completed the second version of the four volumes in 1660–in only three years time and five years less than the first version had taken–and the amazing fact was that it followed inexplicably close to the manuscript King Philip IV had secretly retained, but which was not discovered for comparison until many years later.

more here on Mary of Agreda

book on Agreda