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Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Vol. II:
City of God: Chapter 12

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 12.—Concerning the Opinion of Those Who Have Thought that God is the Soul of the World, and the World is the Body of God.

Ought not men of intelligence, and indeed men of every kind, to be stirred up to examine the nature of this opinion?  For there is no need of excellent capacity for this task, that putting away the desire of contention, they may observe that if God is the soul of the world, and the world is as a body to Him, who is the soul, He must be one living being consisting of soul and body, and that this same God is a kind of womb of nature containing all things in Himself, so that the lives and souls of all living things are taken, according to the manner of each one’s birth, out of His soul which vivifies that whole mass, and therefore nothing at all remains which is not a part of God.  And if this is so, who cannot see what impious and irreligious consequences follow, such as that whatever one may trample, he must trample a part of God, and in slaying any living creature, a part of God must be slaughtered?  But I am unwilling to utter all that may occur to those who think of it, yet cannot be spoken without irreverence.

Next: Chapter 13

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