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The 'City Of God' Unfolds In History

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Chapter Summary

Although the post-Chalcedon world witnessed the secession of the non-Chalcedonian churches, the ideology of Christian unity persisted, Leo having championed it through his correspondence with the western and eastern imperial courts and churches and through the sermons he delivered. The city of Rome that Leo imagined was a kind of terrestrial and, for that reason, imperfect realization of Augustine's ?city of God'. His new way of construing the world was perhaps a compassionate response to, as Hanson put it, "a time of peculiar misery and wretchedness for masses of people, a period of wrecked houses, displaced persons, enforced movements of populations, economic decline and widespread insecurity and despair." Although divine justice did not operate thoroughly there, Leo's Rome was the place where human suffering might be transformed into the occasion for altruism and, therefore, the means by which ordinary Christians might imitate the life of Christ.

Keywords: Christian unity; city of God; city of Rome; divine justice; human suffering; Leo; life of Christ; non-Chalcedonian churches; post-Chalcedon world



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