The Negative Politics in Augustine’s The City of God

Hao SUN

Abstract


This essay attempts to study the negative features of politics in Augustine’s The City of God (De Civitate Dei). Augustine is not an anarchist who believes that the state and the authority are an irreplaceable tool to maintain peace. However, Augustine’s thought has no place in the vision of a politics of perfection, in which all-wise rulers devise truly good and lasting solution for social problems and in which contented subjects live together in stable harmony. Politics is a realm in which fallible, sinful men work out imperfect, precarious solutions to recurring difficulties and tension. He thinks state and coercive are a result of human sinfulness. All coercive power like the institutions of property and slavery, was a divinely sanctioned remedy and punishment for sin. Augustine also made a new definition of the “Republic”. He leaves just out of his definition of the republic entirely and to accept a minimalist and amoral description.

 


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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/9589

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