Author: SHAO Tiefeng, Peking University
This essay explores the relationship between politics and virtue through a comparative study between Augustine’s political theology and Dong Zhongshu’s political Confucianism. On the basis of his assumption that the politics is naturally good, Dong Zhongshu insists that the main purpose of politics is to cultivate human virtue. Augustine, on the contrary, assuming that politics is intrinsically fallen, questions the ability of politics to cultivate virtues by arguing that political society is the result of the Fall of the Angels. For Augustine, only the Church could serve as the vehicle for the pursuit of virtue. Their different interpretations of the relationship between politics and virtue show two different forms of historical consciousness, an other-worldliness with respect to religious history, and a this-worldliness with respect to political history.
politics; virtue; natural state; political state; historical consciousness
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