Reclaiming happiness of the city and the soul : Augustine's engagement with Cicero and Porphyry in the City of God.
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The present dissertation argues that Augustine's City of God demonstrates the superiority of the Christian faith to pagan philosophy in the attainment of happiness and, ultimately, seeks to turn the Roman intellectuals to the Christian faith. The study investigates Augustine's correspondence with educated Romans and shows that the target audience of the City of God is primarily those who are interested in the Christian faith, yet under the sway of pagan philosophies and their criticisms of the Christian teachings. Since Cicero and Porphyry were the major philosophers who taught a way to happiness on socio-political and contemplative levels respectively, Augustine presents the Christian faith as the single way to the true commonwealth and the beatific vision which these two philosophers desired to achieve. In other words, he presents the Christian faith as completing the goal of pagan philosophy, especially the goal of Plato's philosophy: happiness on both the political and contemplative dimensions. The dissertation concludes that Augustine integrates these two main eudaemonistic components in Platonism through the City of God.The dissertation also claims that Augustine identifies Rome with Nineveh in the Book of Jonah, and that such re-conceptualization reflects the evangelistic attitude toward his contemporary intellectuals.