Your assignment is to prepare and submit a paper on augustine and aquinas justifications of the exercise of social and political ruling. St. Thomas Aquinas was born in the early 13th century, of an affluent family, with direct bloodlines to the ruling royal families of the day (Dyson, R.W., 2002, p. xvii). He began his religious training as an oblate, at the Benedictine monastery in Monte Cassino (p. xvii). Later, in 1245, became a member of the Dominican order, and furthered his education at the University of Paris where the German theologian Albertus Magnus introduced him to the study of Aristotle. In 1248 he followed Albertus to Cologne (p. xvii). It was earlier, however, while at the monastery, that Thomas studied Aristotle (p. xvii). Two great men, philosophers, separated by hundreds of years, whose interpretations and writings on political theory continue to influence the thinking of great men, women, religious, and political leaders today. This brief essay is an examination and comparison of the two schools of thought as they pertain to the governance of society socially and politically. The paper will rely on the works of St. Augustine, using his City of God as translated by Marcus D. D. Dodds (1950), and St. Thomas Aquinas’s Political Writings translated by R.W. Dyson (2002). To read either work without the benefit of a modern translation would be, at best, a slow and difficult endeavor that could perhaps, for some, take a lifetime. Under the guidance of the translators, we can gain a sense of the political ideologies of both Augustine and Aquinas. St. Augustine watched as the world around him spun out of control and into chaos, culminating with the fall of Rome, in 410 A.D (Dodds, p. ix). Rome’s fall brought crashing down the myths that Rome would last forever and rule the world (ix). It would have been a time when scholars, like Augustine, would be formulating thoughts and ideas, influenced by their philosophical teachings and interpretations, about world leaders and political and social manifestations of corruption and .values. . .
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