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Catholic Culture Resources
Catholic Culture Resources

Catholic Dictionary

Find accurate definitions of over 5,000 Catholic terms and phrases (including abbreviations). Based on Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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CITY OF GOD

A celebrated work by St. Augustine (354-430) and the most complete defense of Christianity against paganism in the early Church. Repeated disasters in the Roman Empire were blamed on Christianity. Augustine showed that the opposite was true. It was not Christianity but the immorality of paganism that was responsible for the disintegration. The theme of the book, published in 427, is that the natural unity of the human race was broken by the fall of Adam. Since then mankind is divided everywhere between the inhabitants of two cities: the City of the Devil (Civitas Diaboli) peopled by those who love self even to the contempt of God, and the City of God (Civitas Dei), inhabited by those who love God even to the contempt of self.