Can politics ever be considered just for Augustine - Essay Example

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Can politics ever be considered just for Augustine? Augustine was among the greatest political thinkers of his time, despite the fact that he is mostly remembered for his being among the founding fathers of modern Christianity. The ability of this man to have such an influence on the politics of the church despite having only been converted to Christianity in his adulthood can be considered to be a statement of his political abilities…
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Can politics ever be considered just for Augustine
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Download file to see previous pages The great influence that his teachings had and continue to have in the modern period can be attributed to his persuasive nature, since the was able to influence the basic processes through which the Christian church operates today; not only the catholic church but also the Eastern Orthodox and the Protestants. With this in mind, it would be prudent to ensure that the teachings of this man are studied so that it can be determined whether he considered politics to be just or not. If one considers Augustine’s teachings, one would come to the conclusion that he believes politics can be just because of his belief in free will. Free will, according to Augustine, is an essential part of the human connection with God (Elshtain, 2004). While this may be the case, he lived during an age where many individuals were often subjected into lifelong servitude and slavery. The latter people did not have the free will to be able to make their own choices in life and only had to submit to the will of their masters, a fact which would not have been in agreement with Augustine’s beliefs. ...
democratic system where the free will of an individual is what determined whether he participated in the politics of his society or not (Visser, 2010). The fact that many of the individuals who lived in the Roman society lacked free will because of the autocratic government that was in place, may have had an influence on the teachings of Augustine, who, despite not having been born a Christian, was among those who developed the doctrine of free will in the religious and political scene of the time. According to Augustine, free will existed because it was granted by God, so that in order for an individual to achieve it, it had to be granted by God (Valk, 2009). The fact that some individuals in the society did not possess free will was because God had not seen it fit to grant it to them and this ensured that they were not yet worthy of it. It can be said that those individuals who have the free will to participate in politics have been granted this privilege by God and since God is considered to be just, then there is justice in politics. Free will is absolutely essential to human nature as this is what determines what individuals do with their live, whether good or evil. The ability to make this choice is among the most fundamental aspects of politics because it enables individuals to take differing viewpoints without necessarily having to see eye to eye on some matters. It was this teaching which came to be adopted by the protestant movement, especially the Calvinists, who accepted Augustine’s teaching that there is both free will and divine grace, and as such, the will of an individual is often predestined. One of the conditions which Augustine considers to be necessary for individuals to attain free will is the keeping and fulfilling of all the commandments of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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