St. Augustine's City Of God

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St. Augustine has many reasons for writing City of God. In A.D. 410, the Goth king, Alaric, captured Rome, which was a shock because the Romans thought that it would never fall. The world itself seemed to have been destroyed, and everyone was looking for answers about what to do and what to believe in. “After 410 he found exiles, those escaping the disturbing events in Italy, arriving in North Africa where he was now Bishop of Hippo and asking how he could explain this collapse of a Christian Empire” (Introduction). Many of the remaining pagans in the world were quick to blame the Christians, claiming that the gods had abandoned Rome and also that the Christian God had failed to protect Rome, as he should have done, since Constantine had declared…show more content…
In truth, the blessings and difficulties of life happened to good and bad alike~misfortune happened to everyone. In fact, the barbarians who stormed the city spared, for Christ’s sake, their adversaries. It was unusual that the conqueror would show mercy to the defeated out of respect for their gods. The Romans themselves, when conquering cities, did not spare the lives of the defeated. The cruelties that occurred during the capture of Rome were in agreement with the convention of war, but the acts of mercy were the result of the influence of the name of Christ. In effect, City of God is a challenge to human society to choose which city it wishes to be a part of, and Augustine sees his task as clearly marking out the parameters of each choice. Augustine concludes that the purpose of history is to show the unfolding of God’s plan, which involves fostering the City of Heaven and filling it with worthy citizens. For this purpose, God initiated all of creation itself. In such a grand plan, the fall of Rome is insignificant. Although imprisoned and mistreated, the saints lost nothing by losing their earthly possessions. Even when subjected to violations during their captivity, their own will did not consent and their souls were not
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