Augustine's Doctrine Of Fall

2007 WordsApr 25, 20169 Pages
Augustine is first and foremost a Christian theologian, and in City of God he forms a narrative which links human nature to political authority, initially as a response to criticism of Christianity as the cause of the fall of Rome. In order to comprehensively explore the relationship that Augustine understands exists between human nature and political authority, one must first begin by individually defining human nature as Augustine himself interpreted it and the version of political authority he thereby proposed. In this process, inadequacies and contradictions in Augustine’s thinking surface and it becomes apparent that much of his own system of belief is misled. Nonetheless, Christianity’s continued existence and influence over two millennia marks the significance of any thinker whose religious beliefs and teachings were the driving force behind their political thought. Augustine’s Doctrine of Fall is key to any appreciation of his ideas surrounding human nature and, latterly, of political authority. It says that the fall from grace, the result of Adam exercising his free will and capacity to sin (Augustine, 1467, p.1089), is man’s defining feature. Man was originally all good but human nature has been fundamentally broken by the fall and the inheritance of original sin: as such, no man can be born without sin. This first occurrence of evil – and all future manifestations – can be traced back to what Augustine regards as our key flaw: “could anything but pride have been
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