The City of the Gods: A Study in Myth and Mortality [Book Review]

Review of Metaphysics 19 (2):371-371 (1965)

This historical study of the responses that man has tried to give to the problem of death-"If I must some day die, what can I do to satisfy my desire to live?" as defined by Fr. Dunne—is occasionally turgid but more often provocative and enlightening. From the dawn of history in Mesopotamia to the present, the book investigates the political and literary consequences of different answers to this question and of different attitudes toward death in general. Although the book's organization is chronological, it is explicitly oriented to contemporary concerns, with Nietzsche's statement that "God is dead" serving as a unifying leit-motif. The most rewarding sections are the discussions of Homer's epics and the analysis of the confusions between the right to life and the right over life that are traced from Calvin, Luther, Hobbes, and Rousseau to modern totalitarianism.—W. B. K.
Keywords Catholic Tradition  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0034-6632
DOI revmetaph1965192284
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