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Books That Matter: The City of God Lecture

Books That Matter: The City of God

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Publisher's Summary

Augustine of Hippo's masterpiece The City of God is one of the greatest books ever written, yet its size - nearly 1,000 pages - too often intimidates even serious readers. Composed in the years after the sack of Rome in the fifth century, it ushers you on an astounding historical and theological journey through the final years of the ancient world. What made this book so powerful? What mysteries lie within it? What relevance does the 1,600-year-old text have for our world today? And how should contemporary readers approach this monumental text?

Now is your chance to answer these questions and more with this profound survey of one of the world's truly great books. Over the course of 24 in-depth lectures, Professor Mathewes guides you chapter by chapter through Augustine's magnum opus, introducing you not only to the book's key arguments but also to the historical context necessary to comprehend The City of God's true power.

Here, you'll discover that Augustine was a surprisingly modern man with a clear-eyed outlook on a world in transition - and whose ideas continue to influence us today. Witness how he wrestled with some of the thorniest philosophical challenges of any time, including the problem of evil, faith versus reason, fate versus free will, and the very nature of God. Although there are no easy answers, Augustine's approach is ultimately therapeutic, helping readers live "happy in hope", which, he argues, is the only true happiness in a fallen world.

Whether you come to this book as a Christian, a philosopher, a historian, a literature lover, or simply someone who wants fresh insight into our world today, Augustine will revolutionize the way you think about politics, religion, history, and our relationship to the divine. Professor Mathewes delivers a magnificent introduction to one of the world's truly great books.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2016 The Great Courses (P)2016 The Teaching Company, LLC

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  • Amazon Customer
    25/11/16
    Overall
    "A Wonderful Journey Through Abstractions"

    Fantastic listen for anybody with a Christian background or interest in antiquity. The course succeeds in providing it's listeners with a fresh perspective on politics and daily life in general. It's a great aerial perspective on human nature.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Daniel McCormick
    12/12/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Incredible presentation of an incredible work"

    Join in this pilgrimage through Augustine's City of God - it's well worth your time!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • HeavyScissors
    04/01/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A partisan celebration of Augustine's views"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    No. It gives a good overview of A's arguments and vision, for a modern person sympathetic to traditional Western Christianity. But Mathewes does not even try to hide his theological enthusiasm for A's ideas. He does not engage critically with his most controversial theories of original sin and predestination. And he makes a number of glib comments about contemporary religion and its politics that are frustrating for someone interested in a serious historical study.


    Would you recommend Books That Matter: The City of God to your friends? Why or why not?

    No


    What does Professor Charles Mathewes bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Good lecturing style, if sometimes overly clever


    Do you think Books That Matter: The City of God needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Eric S. Bindewald
    14/01/17
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Engaging and insightful
    "

    This is a book that has long sat on my shelf - barely started and abandoned. These lectures make the themes of the book accessible and give a context for understanding Augustine and the world he lived in.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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