W. M. Spellman's A Short History of Western Political Thought PDF

By W. M. Spellman

ISBN-10: 0230545580

ISBN-13: 9780230545588

This short narrative survey of political inspiration over the last millennia explores key principles that experience formed Western political traditions.

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38 Augustine’s neo-Platonic distinction between the eternal city and the corruptible life of the flesh, together with his insistence that reason without faith resulted in the futile pursuit of wisdom, would shape the outlook of the Church throughout the Middle Ages and beyond. The classical centering of humans to shape their own destiny, the bedrock of ancient city-states and republics, was replaced with a quest to fulfill God’s will on earth in preparation for the real life after death. By the close of the fifth century the admonition seemed to make sense, at least in the Western Roman Empire, where barbarian tribesmen had made a shambles of a once proud civilization.

Augustine responded with his most important work, the City of God. ” Those who do not belong to the heavenly city “shall inherit eternal misery, which is also called the second death, because the soul shall then be separated from God its life . . 38 Augustine’s neo-Platonic distinction between the eternal city and the corruptible life of the flesh, together with his insistence that reason without faith resulted in the futile pursuit of wisdom, would shape the outlook of the Church throughout the Middle Ages and beyond.

Germanic kings heartily welcomed the endorsement of the Church, but their actions often belied the stewardship principles that lay at the core of Christian kingship. 10 Not until the twelfth century would a Christian writer (John of Salisbury) concede the possibility of tyrannicide, and then only under extreme circumstances. The Byzantine exception There was no room for such ambiguity in the Eastern Roman Empire. In fact, the contested nature of monarchical authority in Western Europe is best illustrated by juxtaposing it with developments in the Greek-speaking lands of the Eastern Mediterranean.

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A Short History of Western Political Thought by W. M. Spellman


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