Exactly one year ago I suggested that we read through Augustine’s City of God in 2014. I’m happy to report that we accomplished our goal. I had hoped maybe a half dozen people would become interested in the project, but over a thousand people joined the Facebook group.
The book was long, and it included some tedious passages that we had to encourage each other through, but it also included many passages that seemed acutely relevant. It is comforting to see that many of the issues that our contemporary churches wrestle with are very similar to the issues that Augustine faced 1,600 years ago.
I was astounded by how many of us finished the book, and I was even more astounded that many people asked what we’d be reading next.
We decided that January through March of 2015 we will read Augustine’s On Christian Doctrine.
On Christian Doctrine also goes by the name Teaching Christianity, and its Latin name is De doctrina christiana. In this relatively slim work, Augustine lays out his rules for interpreting and teaching the Bible. Augustine discusses the aim of biblical interpretation, and he describes some of the different types of understandinge.g., literal, figurative, spiritual. He also explains how the discipline of rhetoric can be useful in communicating the Christian message. It’s actually my favorite book by Augustine. And it’s short so the daily time commitment will be light.
We might read Augustine’s On the Trinity after we finish On Christian Doctrine.
Robert Krishna OP, who has a PhD from the University of Sydney in history and philosophy of science, will be facilitating our study of On Christian Doctrine. Robert has a great interest in medieval natural philosophy, the Church Fathers, and the Scripturesparticularly the Scriptures’ reception in Christian history.
Our reading schedule for 2015 begins January 5, so if you’re interested check out our Facebook group.