Take and read

Troubled times and periods of transition get us looking backward, hoping to find resources in the past for new ways to think about our present problems. Perhaps for that reason, many of the most interesting books in ethics this year include an element of historical inquiry. This is particularly true in Christian political thought, in which a number of important books have returned to the ethics of Augustine in search of an alternative to both secularism and sectarianism. Charles Mathewes explores this different angle in A Theology of Public Life. By presenting politics in Augustinian terms, he construes politics not only as a tool for exercising individual rights, but also as an ascetic practice that cultivates the virtues of faith, hope and love.


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