The searing novel on which the internationally acclaimed hit film was based. “A Scarface-like urban epic . . . punctuated with lyricism and longing” (Publishers Weekly). City of God is a gritty, gorgeous tour de force from one of Brazil’s most notorious slums. Cidade de Deus: a place where the streets are awash with narcotics, where violence can erupt at any moment over drugs, money, and love—but also a place where the samba beat rocks till dawn, where the women are the most beautiful on earth, and where one young man wants to escape his background and become a photographer. When City of God erupted on screens worldwide, it became one of the most critically and commercially successful foreign films of recent years. But few were aware of the story behind the film. Written by Paulo Lins, who grew up in the favela (shantytown) Cidade de Deus in Rio de Janeiro and who spent years researching its gang history, City of God began life as a coruscating, harrowing novelistic account of twenty years in the illicit pursuits of the youth gangs born from the favela. “With plot devices sometimes as minimal as the dawning of a new day, City of God seems more like a mosaic than a novel, but it’s a mosaic with unforgettably vibrant colors.” —Booklist
"The human mind can understand truth only by thinking, as is clear from Augustine." --Saint Thomas Aquinas Saint Augustine of Hippo is one of the central figures in the history of Christianity, and this book is one of his greatest theological works. Written as an eloquent defense of the faith at a time when the Roman Empire was on the brink of collapse, it examines the ancient pagan religions of Rome, the arguments of the Greek philosophers and the revelations of the Bible. Pointing the way forward to a citizenship that transcends worldly politics and will last for eternity, this book is one of the most influential documents in the development of Christianity. One of the great cornerstones in the history of Christian thought, "The City of God "is vital to an understanding of modern Western society and how it came into being. Begun in A.D. 413, the book's initial purpose was to refute the charge that Christianity was to blame for the fall of Rome (which had occurred just three years earlier). Indeed, Augustine produced a wealth of evidence to prove that paganism bore within itself the seeds of its own destruction. However, over the next thirteen years that it took to complete the work, the brilliant ecclesiastic proceeded to his larger theme: a cosmic interpretation of history in terms of the struggle between good and evil. By means of his contrast of the earthly and heavenly cities--the one pagan, self-centered, and contemptuous of God and the other devout, God-centered, and in search of grace--Augustine explored and interpreted human history in relation to eternity.
"A significant study of religion and power by a probing and caring anthropologist. Full of surprising insights, City of God is a must-read for anyone concerned with the possibilities and limits of political theology in a volatile 21st century."--João Biehl, author of Vita: Life in a Zone of Social Abandonment "City of God is a rich and gracefully written ethnography of Pentecostal Christians in today's Guatemala which shows how a disciplined self, constituted in daily devotional activities, is believed to be pertinent not only for individual well-being but the soul of the nation. With its concept of 'Christian citizenship,' it is also a significant theoretical contribution to the anthropology of religion. The book deserves to be read widely by students of anthropology, Central America, Christianity and religion more generally."--Steve Caton, author of Yemen Chronicle: An Anthropology of War and Mediation "A groundbreaking ethnography of Christian citizenship and subject formation in the neo-liberal era. O'Neill focuses on what evangelical Christians in Guatemala City actually do, by way of a close study of Church ceremonies, cell group meetings, interviews, direct daily observation and close readings of the voluminous mass-media products. The result is a thoroughly innovative study of the way in which social circumstance and politics are internalized. We will be feeling the aftershocks of the movement that is so sensitively studied in this book for years to come."--Claudio Lomnitz, author of Death and the Idea of Mexico
Paradise is a garden...but heaven is a city. From the acclaimed author of Take This Bread and Jesus Freak comes a powerful new account of venturing beyond the borders of religion into the unpredictable territory of faith. On Ash Wednesday, 2012, Sara Miles and her friends left their church buildings and carried ashes to the buzzing city streets: the crowded dollar stores, beauty shops, hospital waiting rooms, street corners and fast-food joints of her neighborhood. They marked the foreheads of neighbors and strangers, sharing blessings with waitresses and drunks, believers and doubters alike. CITY OF GOD narrates the events of the day in vivid detail, exploring the profound implications of touching strangers with a reminder of common mortality. As the story unfolds, Sara Miles also reflects on life in her city over the last two decades, where the people of God suffer and rejoice, building community amid the grit and beauty of this urban landscape. CITY OF GOD is a beautifully written personal narrative, rich in complex, real-life characters, and full of the "wild, funny, joyful, raucous, reverent" moments of struggle and faith that have made Miles one of the most enthralling Christian writers of our time.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER With brilliant and audacious strokes, E. L. Doctorow creates a breathtaking collage of memories, events, visions, and provocative thought, all centered on an idea of the modern reality of God. At the heart of this stylistically daring tour de force is a detective story about a cross that vanishes from a rundown Episcopal church in lower Manhattan only to reappear on the roof of an Upper West Side synagogue. Intrigued by the mystery—and by the maverick rector and the young rabbi investigating the strange act of desecration—is a well-known novelist, whose capacious brain is a virtual repository for the ideas and disasters of the age. Daringly poised at the junction of the sacred and the profane, filled with the sights and sounds of New York, and encompassing a large cast of vividly drawn characters including theologians, scientists, Holocaust survivors, and war veterans, City of God is a monumental work of spiritual reflection, philosophy, and history by America’s preeminent novelist and chronicler of our time. Praise for City of God “A grander perspective on the universe . . . a novel that sets its sights on God.”—The Wall Street Journal “Dazzling . . . The true miracle of City of God is the way its disparate parts fuse into a consistently enthralling and suspenseful whole.”—Time “Blooms with humor, and a humanity that carries triumphant as intelligent a novel as one might hope to find these days.”—Los Angeles Times “Radiates [with] panoramic ambition and spiritual incandescence.”—Chicago Tribune “One of the greatest American novels of the past fifty years . . . Reading City of God restores one’s faith in literature.”—The Houston Chronicle