Religion’s Influence on Government

| August 19, 2015

It is not uncommon for philosophers to consider the role of religion in the daily lives of the citizenry or the relationship between religion and government. St. Augustine and St. Aquinas are more theologians than political philosophers, but their works have influenced many political leaders nonetheless – including those who helped in determining the role of church and state in the US.

Aquinas was greatly influenced by Aristotle. He suggested that faith and reason are complementary rather than contradictory, and that political authority comes from God. Aquinas, like others before and after, also believed there were opportunities for “just war”, even though that seems contrary to religious teachings.

Though Augustine was not baptized into the Church until his later years, his views on religion and government are influential as to how this relationship should exist. He also believed the Bible should not be literally interpreted if it diverges from science, though argued politics and religion cannot be separated because the state is rooted in sin.

ASSIGNMENT

 Write a 2 page paper in which you compare and contrast the thoughts of Aquinas and Augustine on the role of religion in government. Within your paper, assess the legitimacy of tyranny as a form of government from the viewpoint of both philosophers.

This paper should be 2 pages of complete content (cover page and reference page are separate) and have in-text citations. The paper will be in APA style (both in formatting the paper and reference page). One scholarly article as a minimum should be included in the paper.

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