Augustine and Thomas Aquinas: Christian Political Thought in the Middle Ages

The advent of Christianity gave rise to scepticism about the link between individual virtue and the design of political institutions, established in Greek thought. Typically, in classical Greek thought, the political community was considered to be of immense importance to an individual’s well-being. Not only was the polis essential to fulfil the material needs of individuals, it was also required to fulfil a person’s moral and spiritual needs. Even when the form of the political community changed from that of a polis to that of an empire, thinkers still debated the merits of a life spent in service to the political community. With the emergence and eventual dominance ...

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