The City Of God By John Milbank

869 Words4 Pages
After Augustine completed his literary piece known as the City of God, serious debate ensued regarding the correct interpretation of the concepts addressed in his writing. Augustine highlighted two realms, that of the earthly state known as the secular realm and the heavenly state known as the City of God. For instance, Etienne Gilson believed that Augustine was expressing the greatness of the earthly state while simultaneously explaining that the state bettered Christianity. Other philosophers such as Robert Markus interpreted Augustine’s writing as being supportive of the secular realm and claimed it to be independent from religion. Opposing both of these philosophers were James Schall and John Milbank. Their belief explained the political state to be sinful and evil. Analysis of all three positions ultimately revealed the ideas of Schall and Milbank to hold a deeper understanding of the truth than those of Markus and Gilson. In the City of God, Augustine repeatedly explained how the earthly state and the City of God were opposites which contradicted Etienne Gilson’s thoughts. He began by comparing and contrasting who the people of the earthly and heavenly states worshipped. People of the earthly state worshipped the Roman Empire’s gods while people of the heavenly state revered the one, true God. Here Augustine proclaimed, “For, so far as concerns themselves, their piety and probity, which are gifts of God, suffice to give them true felicity, enabling them to live well

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