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Jerusalem’s Lost Etymology: How Augustine Changed Latin Eschatology

In: Vigiliae Christianae
Author: Ellen Scully1
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This article analyzes the transition from one etymology for Jerusalem (“city of peace”) to another (“vision of peace”) in the late fourth century and the effects of this transition on the Latin eschatological tradition. My thesis is that Augustine’s conscious preference for the etymology of “vision of peace” over that of “city of peace” is motivated by the greater usefulness of “vision of peace” within his already established eschatological system that links vision with beatitude. Augustine’s preference for “vision of peace” influenced the eschatological trajectory of the Latin patristic and medieval tradition.

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