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William

Seattle, WA, United States | Member Since 2009

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  • The City of God

    • UNABRIDGED (47 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Saint Augustine
    • Narrated By Bernard Mayes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (98)
    Performance
    (52)
    Story
    (50)

    Written between A.D. 413 and 426, The City of God is one of the great cornerstones in the history of Christian thought, a book which is vital to the understanding of modern Western society. Augustine originally intended it to be an apology for Christianity against the accusation that the Church was responsible for the decline of the Roman Empire, which had occurred just three years earlier. Indeed, Augustine produced a great amount of evidence to prove that paganism was responsible for this event. However, by the time the work was finished, the book had taken on a larger theme.

    John says: "Great book! If you can get through it."
    "Sharp thinker; profound topic; still relevant"
    Overall

    I prefer listening to this kind of book rather than reading it because I can get through it while driving or walking.

    As a Catholic priest, I would naturally be sympathetic to the argument of the author, but as a human being, I am always concerned with an author's learning, logic, honesty, and openness. I think St. Augustine rates high in all these categories. Even if one would not agree with him in a given instance, I think most people would at least say he had good reasons for his opinion, expressed them well, and did not needlessly minimize the opinions of others. I would in fact think of this work as something of a model for "ecumenical dialogue."

    I would rate the narrator of this book as "born for this kind of presentation." His English accent adds class to the reading. In fact, I may tackle his narration of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire one of these days.

    Finally, compared to the translation we have in our house library, I would consider this translation more elegant, clearer, and much more acceptable to the modern ear.

    16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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