Augustinian Studies

Volume 47, Issue 2, 2016

Eugene R. Schlesinger
Pages 137-155

The Sacrificial Ecclesiology of City of God 10

In book 10 of City of God, Augustine appeals to the notion of true sacrifice in order to counteract the attraction of pagan worship. This appeal to the concept of sacrifice gives a distinct shape to the Christology and ecclesiology he develops in this book. Set against this polemical horizon, and within the context of his wider thought, it becomes clear that sacrifice is itself soteriological motif for Augustine. The work it does in this context is to serve as another way of describing the return of humanity to God through the Incarnate Christ. The cross, the Eucharist, the moral life, and the church itself are all identified as instances of the one true sacrifice of Christ. In this way, sacrifice provides an integrative motif for discussing Augustinian Christology, ecclesiology, sacramental theology, and soteriology.