CITY OF GOD BY ST. AUGUSTINE TRANSLATED BY HENRY BETTENSON EDITED BY DAVID KNOWLES
St. Augustine, bishop of Hippo, is one of the central figures in the history of Christianity, and City of God is one of his greatest theological works. This is St. Augustine`s great defence of the Church in the face of pagan accusations that it had incurred the wrath of the gods and caused the devastating sack of Rome in 410.
The defence eventually emerged as a full-blown theology of history, and an eloquent portrait of the Body of Christ the heavenly city in the midst of the earthly city. Two cities have been formed by two loves: the earthly by the love of self, even to the contempt of God; the heavenly by the love of God, even to the contempt of self. The former, in a word, glories in itself, the latter in the Lord. For the one seeks glory from men; but the greatest glory of the other is God...it looks for its reward in the society of the saints, of holy angels as well as holy men, that God may be all in all (Bk. XIV, ch. 28). For St. Augustine, historically and theologically, everthing follows from these two first loves which have produced the two cities.