Augustine and Politics as Longing in the World

Augustine and Politics as Longing in the World

Augustine and Politics as Longing in the World

Augustine and Politics as Longing in the World

Synopsis

Saint Augustine's political thought has usually been interpreted by modern readers as suggesting that politics is based on sin. In Augustine and Politics as Longing in the World, John von Heyking shows that Augustine actually considered political life a substantive good that fulfills a human longing for wholeness. Rather than showing Augustine as supporting the Christian church's domination of politics, von Heyking argues that he held a subtler view of the relationship between religion and politics, one that preserves the independence of political life.

Augustine and Politics as Longing in the World demonstrates some of the deficiencies in the way Augustine's political thought has been interpreted. It also explains why a rereading of his thought illuminates the current debates between "secularists" and proponents of "orthodoxy" and shows why these debates are miscast. By examining Augustine's political thought, von Heyking provides a way of resolving this controversy and shows how we can move beyond conflicting claims and thus moderate yet elevate political life.

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