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Intern Reading Group: Augustine’s Two Cities: A Framework for Political Theology

Rayburn House Office Building Courtyard
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Please join us for the next meeting of the Faith & Law Intern Reading Group on Thursday, October 1st from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. in Rayburn House Office Building Courtyard. A boxed lunch will be provided, but please bring your own beverage (and a mask for once you are done with your meal).

To ensure that we can conduct group meetings safely, we kindly request that you RSVP for each session.

Are faith and politics separate spheres or connected in some way? What attitude should a Christian have toward secular politics?

These are the questions of political theology – the study and understanding of how one’s deeply held religious beliefs influence one’s views about politics. Throughout Christian history, the tension between politics and religion has led to serious conflict. This conflict continues today in the United States and around the world.

With these questions mind, we will examine passages from Augustine’s City of God. The hallmark feature of Augustine’s political theology is the idea of two cities: the City of God and the City of Man. Insofar as man desires salvation, he is a citizen of the City of God, which represents the Church and the heavenly kingdom. Insofar as man desires his own glory, he is a citizen of the City of Man, the manifestation of man’s pride and lust for earthly power. In addition to the writings of Augustine, you will find an excerpt from a Christianity Today article that touches on similar themes and emphasizes the importance of discussing this topic in the present day.