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Products>The City of God, 2 vols. (The Works of Saint Augustine: A Translation for the 21st Century)

The City of God, 2 vols. (The Works of Saint Augustine: A Translation for the 21st Century)

, 2012–2013
ISBN: 9781565484542

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Along with his Confessions, The City of God is undoubtedly St. Augustine’s most influential work. In the context of what begins as a lengthy critique of classic Roman religion and a defense of Christianity, Augustine touches upon numerous topics, including the role of grace, the original state of humanity, the possibility of waging a just war, the ideal form of government, and the nature of heaven and hell. But his major concern is the difference between the City of God and the City of Man–one built on love of God, the other on love of self. One cannot but be moved and impressed by the author’s breadth of interest and penetrating intelligence. For all those who are interested in the greatest classics of Christian antiquity, The City of God is indispensible.

This long-awaited translation by William Babcock is published in two volumes, with an introduction and annotation that make Augustine’s monumental work approachable.

  • Provides a modern translation of a classic work
  • Contains extensive notes from editors and translators
  • Explores the difference between the City of God and the City of Man

Top Highlights

“Death should not be thought an evil when a good life precedes it. For nothing makes death an evil except what follows death. Consequently, those who are inevitably going to die have little reason to worry about how they are going to die, and much reason to worry about where they will be brought by dying.” (Volume 6, Page 14)

“Let them all, therefore, give way to the philosophers who asserted that human beings are happy not in the enjoyment of the body, nor in the enjoyment of the soul, but in the enjoyment of God, enjoying him not as the soul enjoys the body or as the soul enjoys itself or as a friend enjoys a friend but rather as the eye enjoys the light40—if, that is, we can draw any likeness at all between the one thing and the other.” (Volume 6, Page 252)

“If men are praised for weeping over enemies whom they have themselves defeated, surely human feeling will grant us that it is no crime for a woman to weep over her betrothed, killed by her own brother!” (Volume 6, Page 84)

“Surprisingly, then, there is in humility something that lifts up the heart, and there is in exaltation something that brings down the heart. It certainly seems somewhat paradoxical that exaltation should bring down and humility should lift up. Devout humility, however, makes the heart subject to what is superior to it. But nothing is superior to God, and so the humility that makes the heart subject to God actually exalts it. In contrast, exaltation expresses a fault, and, for that very reason, it spurns subjection and falls away from him who has no superior. As a result, it brings the heart down, and what is written comes to pass: You cast them down while they were being exalted (Ps 73:18).” (Volume 7, Page 120)

New City Press is proud to offer the best modern translations available of Saint Augustine. Augustine’s writings are useful to anyone interested in patristics, church history, theology, and Western civilization.

In 1990, New City Press, in conjunction with the Augustinian Heritage Institute, began the project known as The Works of Saint Augustine, A Translation for the 21st Century. The plan is to translate and publish all 132 works of Saint Augustine, his entire corpus, into modern English. This represents the first time in which the works of Saint Augustine will all be translated into English. Many existing translations were often archaic or faulty, and the scholarship was outdated. The Works of Saint Augustine, A Translation for the 21st Century will be translated into 49 published books. To date, 43 books have been published by NCP containing 93 of his works. The complete Works of Saint Augustine will total 132 works in 49 volumes.

Augustine was surely larger than life and this translation matches him.

—Richard Rohr, O.F.M.

The monumental City of God has astonishingly relevant things to say to an age of postmodernism, secularism, multiculturalism and globalization. This affordable new translation with useful notes will make this masterpiece accessible to the 21st century reader.

—Karla Pollmann, University of St. Andrews

City of God is the longest text centered on a single argument to have survived from Greco-Roman antiquity. The challenges of translating such a work arise not just from the brute size of the task, but also from the variety of topics Augustine treats, the complexity of his Latin, and the intricacy of his argument. It is thus no small accomplishment—and service—that William Babcock has rendered Augustine’s prose with such skill, vibrancy, and verve. This new translation will deservedly become the standard for many years to come.

—Gregory W. Lee, Wheaton College, Illinois

  • Title: The City of God : A Translation for the 21st Century (2 vols.)
  • Author: Augustine of Hippo
  • Series: The Works of Saint Augustine
  • Publisher: New City Press
  • Volumes: 2
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital > Logos Research Edition
  • Pages: 963

Augustine of Hippo (354-430) is one of the greatest thinkers and writers of the Western world. After he converted to Christianity he became bishop of Hippo in North Africa, where he was influential in civil and church affairs. His writings have had a lasting impact on Western philosophy and culture.


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  1. jnj1998



  2. Nathan Fowler
    I'm no Augustinian scholar, and I don't know Latin. But this translation is accessible, lucid, and readable. It feels like Augustine was writing in English. Augustine's then-contemporary and historical examples are heavily footnoted, with links to extant texts and quick summaries for the uninitiated. Augustine's depiction of Rome's gods should be required reading for Christian students of the humanities. Consider this excerpt from 1.8: "This does not mean, however, that when the good and the evil suffer alike, there is no distinction between them simply because there is no distinction in what they suffer. Even when the sufferings are alike, the sufferers remain unlike; and even when virtue and vice undergo the same torment, they are not themselves the same. In one and the same fire, gold glows red but chaff smokes; and under one and the same flail, straw is broken up but grain is separated out; nor is the oil mixed in with the dregs, even though it is extracted by the weight of the same press. By the same token, one and the same force, assailing the good, proves and purifies and cleanses them, but, assailing the evil, condemns and ruins and destroys them. Thus, under the same affliction, the evil detest and blaspheme God, but the good praise and pray to him. What is really important, then, is not the character of the suffering but rather the character of the sufferer. Stirred by the same motion, filth gives out a foul stench, but perfume a sweet fragrance."