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Compare and Contrast Augustine(Political Writing) and Aquinas (The Political Ideas Of ST. Thomas Aquinas) - Essay Example

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Name: Instructor: Task: Date: Christianity and politics The relationship between Christianity and politics is an intricate matter of discussion that entails considerable philosophy. In such discussions, there is considerable use of logic in explaining the nature of situations…
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Compare and Contrast Augustine(Political Writing) and Aquinas (The Political Ideas Of ST. Thomas Aquinas)
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Compare and Contrast Augustine(Political Writing) and Aquinas (The Political Ideas Of ST. Thomas Aquinas)

Download file to see previous pages... While some thinkers have argued for theological positions such as Christian communism, others propose that Christians should have limited participation in politics. Saint Augustine and Thomas Aquinas’ works attempt to provide a harmonious relationship between politics and Christianity. Augustine and Aquinas thoughts on politics are similar in terms of their theological positions, and differ in terms of Augustine’s theological outlook and Aquinas’s rational position on matters. Augustine, as a classical theologian, had notable works that he produced on politics. This occurred in spite of his firm grounding on religion. Augustine’s work had remained as classical in defining religion’s relationship with the society. Augustine discusses dual citizenship in terms of heaven and earth. He recognizes that human beings are bound to the functioning of the earthly state and the heavenly kingdom. Augustine allegorically refers to cities, the earthly city and the city of God. The earthly city belongs to the class of individuals who are damned. According to Augustine, such individuals do not possess God’s blessings (Saint Augustine 5). On the other hand, the people in the City of God have God’s blessings. The City of God surpasses earthly institutions such as the state. On the other hand, Thomas Aquinas is a theologian who embarked on a study of the church within an intellectual frame. This explains why the papacy recommended Aquinas’s texts as preliminary in attaining ordainments. This suggests that these two scholars shared a similarity in articulating an objective view of the church. In turn, they had designed a philosophical outlook on spiritual matters. It is essential to highlight that Augustine and Aquinas shared similar convictions about wars. The scholars agree that war can be a just affair as long as it builds on certain premises. According to Aquinas, war is necessary as a means of defense. In addition, war is vital in the event of ensuring long-term peace. Aquinas laid out Augustine’s principles in justifying given wars. To begin with, there has to be considerable possibilities of winning a given war. In addition, a strong central authority should be responsible for waging such a war. The third premise stated that peace was to be the central motive in pursuing a war. Similarly, Augustine had proposed pacifism as a Christian way of living. This means that Christians should oppose war and violence as a means of initiating conflict resolution. Augustine, however, asserted that peacefulness in the case of a serious wrong, which only violence could stop, is a sin Saint (Augustine 29). Augustine states that defense of the self and others could be necessary in the case of an attack. A legitimate authority, however, has to approve such a defense. In as much as Augustine did not explicitly state the components of a just war, he, in an indirect sense, coined the term in The City of God work. In this sense, it was sometimes necessary to have a war that helped preserve peace in the long-term. All the same, Augustine insisted that war should not be preemptive. This is a functional outlook on war that Aquinas uses to lay out the components of a just war. Both Aquinas and Augustine believe that the state is instrumental in safeguarding a common interest. Augustine discusses this concept in the scope of a political community. Aquinas discusses the state’s purpose in terms of justice. According to Augustine, both the state and the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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