Augustine’s Understanding of Political PhilosophyJune 26, 2021
The philosopher, who claims that love is the driving force of not only the individual but also a society consisting of individuals, has reached the famous distinction between the state of the earth or the world and the state of the sky or God, based on the doctrine of love.
Accordingly, just as there are two kinds of love, one good and proper love and the other bad and irregular love, there are two conceptions of states, one earthly state and the other God’s state, corresponding to both ends of this distinction. Within this framework, Augustine, those who turn to matter instead of God, who love the earth and itself rather than God, those whose souls are in the service of their sensual side and sensual desires, come together to establish the earthly state, while in good and true love, and their spiritual side. He also said that those who live on the basis of God and love God are united in the sky state.
Augustine applied this point of view not only to political philosophy, but also to human history. According to Augustine, who sees the history of humanity as a history of the conflict between the heavenly state and the earthly state, in other words, the physical or sensual side of man and his spiritual or spiritual side, the earth state began with the rebellion of the devil and developed with the Assyrian and Roman empires. It is the kingdom of the devil. In contrast, the heavenly state is the kingdom of Jesus, which emerged in the Jewish people and perpetuated itself by the Christian faith and the dogmas of the church. He says that the Assyrian and Roman empires, which were the examples of earthly states, were destroyed because these states were temporary, and that the sky state would triumph in the final solution. In his eyes, Christianity and the church are the building blocks that show that the sky state is beginning to make its impact.
Prepared by: Sociologist Ömer YILDIRIM
Source: Omer YILDIRIM’s Personal Lecture Notes. Atatürk University Sociology Department 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 2nd, 3rd, 4th Grade “History of Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM); Open Education Philosophy Textbook