Augustine scholars today radically disagree with each other on the practical implications of the later Augustine's vision of human society. Some find it uniquely exalting. For them, as R.A. Markus acclaims, "political Augustinianism" is, of its nature, politically radical. It is bound to be unremittingly critical of all and any human arrangements, any actual and even any imaginable forms of social order. Seen in an eschatological perspective. there can be no existing or possible society in which there is nothing to criticize" (Markus: 168-9). Others, however, find it especially depressing. For them, as Rosemary Radford Ruether complains, the later Augustine "fails to give us either a sufficiently critical basis for assessing the conduct of the historical church or a sufficiently hopeful basis for conducting a moral struggle toward the political order" (Ruether: 263).


Issue contains the subject matter of the 1994 Philosophy Colloquium, which had the theme "Augustine on Human Goodness: Metaphysics, Ethics and Politics." It was held April 7-9, 1994.



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