By James Wetzel
Augustine's urban of God has profoundly prompted the process Western political philosophy, yet there are few courses to its labyrinthine argumentation that carry jointly the fragile interaction of faith and philosophy in Augustine's notion. The essays during this quantity supply a wealthy exam of these subject matters, utilizing the important, contested contrast among a heavenly urban on earthly pilgrimage and a mundane urban sure for perdition to intricate facets of Augustine's political and ethical imaginative and prescient. themes mentioned comprise Augustine's idea of the secular, his critique of pagan advantage, his departure from classical eudaimonism, his mythology of sin, his dystopian politics, his incredible cognizance to girl our bodies, his ethical psychology, his valorisation of affection, his critique of empire and his belief of a Christian philosophy. jointly the essays increase our knowing of Augustine's such a lot influential paintings and supply a wealthy evaluate of Augustinian political theology and its philosophical implications.
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Extra resources for Augustine's City of God: A Critical Guide
Addressing the saeculum/secular relation requires comment on some of the many ways in which Augustine draws the distinction between the two cities that together constitute the saeculum and its politics. And the third task is to engage Augustine normatively and constructively on the question of what use his thought on these matters might be to those who want to think about politics and the political sixteen centuries after the entry into Rome of Alaric and his Goths in 410, the event that prompted Augustine to compose the City.
They choose something over God; they are not, Augustine insists, able not to sin (non posse non peccare). Demons have it even worse. There is no grace for them. They have no further possibility of not choosing their darkness. So complication one: it is possible to sin but not be free not to sin. What about redemption? Augustine does not claim that divine grace has the eﬀect of restoring to human beings their original Adamic freedom. It does better than that. It makes it so that saints in Christ, sealed in the Spirit, have no ability (because they have absolutely no desire) to break again from God; they are remade so as not to be able to sin (non posse peccare).
Although its germ is already visible in Confessions, City of God was by more than a decade the last of the three to be undertaken, and it is also the most architectonic in design. Augustine had measured his task carefully. Even if this opus magnum turned out in the end to be far longer than he had expected, its overall proportions remained as envisaged in his original plan (ratio operis; civ. ). The very ﬁrst sentence of the work, as we have seen (Section 1 above), is already mimetic of the compulsive logic of the twenty-two books.
Augustine's City of God: A Critical Guide by James Wetzel