Politics and the Order of Love: An Augustinian Ethic of Democratic Citizenship

Paperback | December 15, 2010

byEric Gregory

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Augustine—for all of his influence on Western culture and politics—was hardly a liberal. Drawing from theology, feminist theory, and political philosophy, Eric Gregory offers here a liberal ethics of citizenship, one less susceptible to anti-liberal critics because it is informed by the Augustinian tradition. The result is a book that expands Augustinian imaginations for liberalism and liberal imaginations for Augustinianism. 
Gregory examines a broad range of Augustine’s texts and their reception in different disciplines and identifies two classical themes which have analogues in secular political theory: love—and related notions of care, solidarity, and sympathy—and sin—as well as related notions of cruelty, evil, and narrow self-interest. From an Augustinian point of view, Gregory argues, love and sin constrain each other in ways that yield a distinctive vision of the limits and possibilities of politics.
In providing a constructive argument for Christian participation in liberal democratic societies, Gregory advances efforts to revive a political theology in which love’s relation to justice is prominent.  Politics and the Order of Love will provoke new conversations for those interested in Christian ethics, moral psychology, and the role of religion in a liberal society.

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Augustine—for all of his influence on Western culture and politics—was hardly a liberal. Drawing from theology, feminist theory, and political philosophy, Eric Gregory offers here a liberal ethics of citizenship, one less susceptible to anti-liberal critics because it is informed by the Augustinian tradition. The result is a book that ...

Eric Gregory is professor of religion at Princeton University.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:434 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:December 15, 2010Publisher:University Of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0226307522

ISBN - 13:9780226307527

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Abbreviations

Introduction:Augustine and Modern Liberalism

Chapter 1: Beyond Public Reason: Love, Sin, and Augustinian Civic Virtue

Chapter 2: From Vice to Virtue: The Development of Augustinian Liberalism

Chapter 3: A Liberal Ethic of Care: Feminist Political Theory

and Christian Social Ethic

Chapter 4: Love as Political Vice: Hannah Arendt’s Augustine


Chapter 5: Love as Political Virtue: “Stoics” and the Problem of Passion

Chapter 6: Love as Political Virtue: “Platonists” and the Problem of God

Conclusion: Remembering Augustine: The Exhausted Politics of Pessimism,

Skepticism, and Nostalgia

Bibliography

Index

Editorial Reviews

"Liberals of all stripes, and even non-liberals, need to read this book."