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The Political Writings of St. Augustine

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  282 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Anyone with a better than cursory knowledge of politics knows that a people's deepest values - their religious values - are what determine whether a society will prosper or fail. And anyone with a more than cursory knowledge of history knows that there was once an entity called Christendom - a political society self-consciously in obeisance to a total Christian view of lif ...more
Paperback, 358 pages
Published September 1st 1996 by Gateway Editions (first published 1962)
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3.83  · 
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 ·  282 ratings  ·  15 reviews

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Mar 15, 2019 rated it did not like it
The most important voice in political thought throughout the Middle Ages, influencing even St. Aquinas, was that of St. Augustine. Through excerpts of sermons, letters, and selections from City of God, the 4th-century theologians’ view of the world of man is shown both in its maturity and development.

Covering almost 360 pages, the vast majority of it being the words of St. Augustine, this book’s quality comes down to the introduction by Henry Paolucci and the appendix containing a lecture by Din
Zachary Taylor
May 27, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This edited volume from E. M. Atkins and R. J. Dodaro stands out because it consists entirely of letters and sermons from Augustine. Rather than draw upon selections from De civitate dei, De vera religione, or various pamphlets published against perceived heretics, Atkins and Dodaro stick exclusively to a smattering of more practical literature—letters and sermons. “It is easy to forget that [Augustine] was, before all else, a Christian pastor,” they write. Whereas his writing in Confessions or ...more
Isabela Baldini
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
mais pra 2.5

difícil pensar hoje sobre agostinho sem o desgosto (ressentimento?) pelas suas tristes derivações fascistas-bolsonaristas
Justin Evans
Jan 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: philosophy
This is a very solid selection--I did, mirabile dictu, read City of God a while back, and have no desire to try it again. This is gives you just the right amount of it, unless you're deeply masochistic, and combines it with some far more readable letters and a solid introduction. Recommended for classrooms and anyone who wants the gist without the grind.
Feb 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I loved Augustine's writings and I believe much of his philosophy is fairly enlightened for his time such as his notion of mercy for heretics and his just war concept. While many of his concepts seem a bit hopeful I like that he does not lose sight of the reality of the world and the corruption that remains in it. Unlike the other philosophers before him he realizes the ideal government is not attainable on the earth, the corruption of mankind prevents it from being so, while this is bleak Augus ...more
May 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
I think this is an excellent book. please beware that if you want to read it, you must reqd cover to cover, by which I mean the explanatory commentary and you must have an intention for why you're reading it. whether you agree with the philosophy, the English translation is antiquated and times very hard to read.
Aug 25, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The sections taken from Augustine was wonderful. This basically an abridged version of City of God. It leaves out a lot of the historical and mythological aspects and focuses more on the specifically political content. This book gets 4 starts because the publishers (Hacket) decided to save a buck and print it on paper that is impossible to take notes on.
Jan-Jaap van Peperstraten
Feb 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
Taking its readings mostly from the Civitas Dei , the 'Political Writings' form a good introduction to St.Augsutine's theological anthropology and their political consequences. What does it mean for us, socially and politically that Man as such isn`t ... well... very good? (Romans 3). One thing's for sure: the saint would have made short shrift of any utopian project. ...more
James Violand
Jul 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone with gray matter.
Shelves: own
I read this in a Political Science course at Grove City College in 1974 and have saved it hoping to read it again. I remember being very impressed, especially after studying Plato and Aristotle and their views on government. I hope to read it again soon. It influenced my way of looking at how government should operate.
Michael Nichols
May 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These letters are a ton of fun. Augustine’s preeminent works are refined and polished. These catch him in action, revealing his wit, verve, keen intelligence. This work would make for a good read even if one wasn’t studying him formally.
Mckenzie Pepper
Feb 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The most influential writer of Christian theology ever. A must read just do it.
Mar 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Excellent selections.
Auronee Islam
Jul 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Quite enjoyed re-learning the base of Monotheism.
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  • On Law, Morality, and Politics
  • Lectures on the History of Political Philosophy
  • The Machiavellian Moment: Florentine Political Thought and the Atlantic Republican Tradition
  • Selected Political Writings
  • On the Citizen
  • On Liberty and Other Writings (Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought)
  • Roots Of American Order
  • The Social Contract & Other Later Political Writings (Texts in the History of Political Thought)
  • A Jonathan Edwards Reader
  • Documents of the Christian Church
  • The Politics and The Constitution of Athens
  • The Christological Controversy
  • Illumined Heart
  • Rationalism in Politics and Other Essays
  • On the Republic/On the Laws
  • De Monarchia (On the Monarchy)
  • The Humanity of God
  • The Christian Philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas
Aurelius Augustinus Hipponensis, in English Augustine of Hippo, also known as St. Augustine, St. Austin, was bishop of Hippo Regius (present-day Annaba, Algeria). He was a Latin philosopher and theologian from the Africa Province of the Roman Empire and is generally considered as one of the greatest Christian thinkers of all times. His writings were very influential in the development of Western C ...more
“it is a higher glory... to stay war itself with a word, than to slay men with the sword, and to procure or maintain peace by peace, not by war.” 4 likes
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