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Excerpt: "The standard linage of Augustine and Aquinas that emerges in twentieth-century textbooks of political philosophy is that of two fundamentally opposed theological approaches to the political. Augustine, in one corner, is the clear-eyed realist, convinced that political society is fallen, mired in the consequences of original sin and the contingent necessity to restrain evil, vice, and sin. Aquinas, in the other corner, is the more cheerful Aristotelian, who emphasizes the inherent goodness and naturalness of political society and its beneficial purposes for human flourishing.' These contrasting visions continue to animate diverse Christian understandings of the limits and possibilities of politics."


This material has been published in Cambridge Companion to Political Theology, edited by E. Phillips and C. Hovey (New York/Cambridge: Cambridge University Press) 2015. This version is free to view and download for personal use only. Not for re-distribution, re-sale or use in derivative works. © Cambridge University Press 2015.