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Are you interested in reading one of the most influential books in the history of western civilization? Do you have five or ten minutes a day? If so, you should seriously consider reading City of God in 2014.

This year I plan to read Augustine’s City of God from cover to cover. If I read a couple of chapters every day, I should finish sometime in mid-December. It’s always easier to accomplish shared goals, so I’ve decided to see if anyone else wants to read along with me.

Why should you read the City of God with me in 2014? Because it’s awesome. Augustine of Hippo started his magnum opus after Germans sacked the city of Rome in 410. Both pagan Romans and Christian Romans took the destruction of the city pretty hard, and both looked for meaning in the event. The pagans blamed the Christians, and many Christians couldn’t understand how this catastrophe could happen in a Christian empire. Augustine writes his book to put historical events in a theological perspective. City of God has everything—history, theology, philosophy, science. Augustine crams a lot of ancient learning into this one book. I like to think of the City of God as the capstone of the ancient world. It’s definitely worth reading.

City of God comprises twenty-two books. Most books contain around thirty chapters. If one reads a couple of chapters a day, one should finish within a year. These chapters are relatively short. Most daily readings will be around three or four pages long.

I’ve started a Facebook group for people interested in reading City of God. I’ll post the reading schedule there. We can discuss the text, argue about what it means, and hold each other accountable for doing the reading. We’ll officially kick off on January 6.

I’ll be reading the Penguin edition, but any edition will do. The public-domain translation from the NPNF series is actually pretty readable.

Join the Facebook group and read some Augustine with me.

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