Augustine's City of God has profoundly influenced the course of Western political philosophy, but there are few guides to its labyrinthine argumentation that hold together the delicate interplay of religion and philosophy in Augustine's thought. The essays in this volume offer a rich examination of those themes, using the central, contested distinction between a heavenly city on earthly pilgrimage and an earthly city bound for perdition to elaborate aspects of Augustine's political and moral vision. Topics discussed include Augustine's notion of the secular, his critique of pagan virtue, his departure from classical eudaimonism, his mythology of sin, his dystopian politics, his surprising attention to female bodies, his moral psychology, his valorisation of love, his critique of empire and his conception of a Christian philosophy. Together the essays advance our understanding of Augustine's most influential work and provide a rich overview of Augustinian political theology and its philosophical implications.
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Number of pages: 280
Weight: 380 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
'To guide readers into the bishop's magnum opus, this collection of twelve essays, one of fifteen titles in the Cambridge Critical Guide series focusing on philosophical authors, draws upon specialists from the fields of theology, philosophy, and classics ... a helpful resource for suitably equipped readers critically examining De civitate Dei ... The contributions are diverse enough that few are likely to agree with every argument, but those arguments are generally well presented and the collection will stimulate discussion ... academics in any pertinent field leading honours/upper-division students through De civ. would be hard pressed not to find several essays here suitable for assigning as supplemental reading ...' David Neal Greenwood, Bryn Mawr Classical Review
'It has to be said, I think, that the consequence of the fine web of detail in the essays means that this is not a book which is likely to serve any but the most able and ambitious of undergraduate students, or more probably a postgraduate class. But for such a group, this book vindicates Wetzel's assertion that Augustine's 'antithesis - two cities, two loves, two ends - can still challenge the parodies that we would make of them'.' Studies in Christian Ethics