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Augustinianum

Volume 60, Issue 1, June 2020

Maria Giulia Genghini
Pages 165-188

Between Angels and Beasts
Augustine’s Rehabilitation of the Civitas Peregrina through an alternative Reading of the City of God

This paper explores Augustine’s ideal of just society, as developed in books XII, XIV and XIX of the City of God, and its rehabilitation of the notion of civitas peregrina. Bringing to maturity the classical notion of community (according to Aristotle and Cicero’s definitions), Augustine investigates how, in the Christian view, the different kinds of societies, which arise on earth, are dependent on the acceptance or refusal of the relation between man and his transcendental origin. This connection between metaphysics and history allows for an alternative reading of the City of God, by which man’s spiritual life and its public and social dimensions escape dichotomist views and the confinement to a purely philosophical or religious discourse.

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