Test 3 Review Guide: Christianity and Politics
Terms in this set (27)
Lust for dominating
Tranquility of order
How does genesis 1 suggest that the principle of order in creation is Love or care ?
It suggests the virtue of the inward binary nature of creation. Creation is made in doubles where the double is always for the other. Even man is not made for man but creation.
How does genesis 1 suggest that man is the pinnacle of god's creation? How does this contrast with other ancient near eastern accounts?
Genesis: Man is made in imagine of God and governs the world just as God governs the whole universe.
Eastern: Man is created as a slave of the gods and exists primarily to serve them.
What are the notable similarities between Aristotelian and biblical perspectives on questions of order and ends? What are notable differences?
there is an inherent order
- Aristotle: nature is the order
- Bible: cosmology at creation is the primary place and function of the universe
What are the notable similarities between Aristotelian and biblical perspectives on why man fails to attain his end? What are notable differences?
Just as in the Bible love turned away from the good, Aristotle discerns that the passions misdirected us from what is good.
- Aristotle: attracted to impartial goods (passions and ignorance)
- Bible: corruption of man's desires through sin
What is the covenant god makes with all creation after the flood and what is the sign of this covenant?
God promises to no longer flood the earth with the sign of the rainbow
What does the narrative arc between genesis 3 (fall) and genesis 11 (tower of Babel) suggest about the historical inclination of mankind apart from god?
Man desires dominion not for the earth but over other humans. This tendency for man to commit the sin of dominating other men leads to a tyranny where some rule over the others.
What lessons are implied by Jeremiah's letter to the Israelites in exhile about how followers of god are to engage in political life?
"Work for the good of the city for yourselves and the others who live in the city."
What is jesus' teaching when he is asked whether Jews should pay the poll tax? How does he imply that Caesar himself is obligated to surrender to god?
Caesar's face on the coin shows his ownership of the coin just as Caesar being made in god's image shows he belongs to God
What is the radical principle of the kingdom and the new creation which Jesus teaches in the sermon on the mount? i.e. why will the meek inherit the earth?
Like Christ, the meek give up their right, despite a legit claim. They follow a principle of mercy. They forgive and absorb the insult.
Through this they are redeemed
What is the teaching about government authority given by the apostle Paul in romans 13?
Submit to the government authorities that God has established for the good.
What is the historical context of Augustine's writing the "city of god"
- Unification of Christianity in the empire under Theodosius and Constantine: Augustine interpreted this as a great robbery of the empire from the church
- Collapse of empire (Sack of Rome): Christian hope goes to Rome and blame is directed upon Christianity
What is the difference between the city of god and the city of man?
City of God:
- community of those whose love is towards god
City of Man:
- community of those whose live is away from god and towards temptation
What does Augustine understand to be complete happiness, man's good?
Beatitude in heaven
To what extent does Augustine value the regime and its formation of souls?
Because life is everlasting he is not concerned with virtue and vice and human flourishing in this life.
What is Augustine's understanding of the greatest good we can hope for in this world?
Felicity specifically peace
In what way is Augustine's political theology an implicit rejection of political philosophy
"government a dying man lives" implies that the only thing that matters is citizenship in heaven/the city of god. Thus, there is little reason to provide Christian insight in this worldly government (so he mainly encourages peace on earth and beatitude).
Despite his significant reliance on Aristotle, in what way does Aquinas place the emphasis in his understanding of the good of man and political life differently?
- Good of man: contemplation, beatitude, Christianity
- Political life: social, dignity of man given the Christian teaching, common good
- Good of man: contemplation, not christian, eudaemonia
- Political life: just and unjust laws, citizens
What is aquinas's understanding of the role of consent in government? What exception does he make to the biblical commandment to submit to the governing authorities?
Consent is legit if the whole community agrees. The community can resist an unjust authority if it is righteous and there is consent among the community (Rom 13)
According to aquinas, what are the four characteristics of law?
Reason, common good, legit authority, promulgated
According to aquinas, what are the four kinds of law?
Eternal, natural, human, divine
Why does Aquinas believe that government should aim to make men good? In other words, why is Aquinas interested in the nature of regime?
He would find it difficult to conceive why the church wouldn't strive for the common good for that's the reason a community exists.
Church should compromise to work under the influence of the state under a regime (way of life/arrangement of offices) in order to bring citizens to virtue/good
What is the importance of the distinction Aquinas makes between the first principles of speculative reason (on the one hand) and practical reason (on the other)?
- first principles: 2+2=4
- logical, unchanging
- life is good
- knowledge of what is good
You do not have to know the speculative to know the practical
Why does Aquinas not believe that the law should demand perfection?
It sets people up to fail and the law should aim at the common good.
The citizens would rebel under too strict conditions that only allow virtue. Also, only eternal law is perfect, while human law bans only the grievous vices
Which laws are we obligated to obey in conscious?
Human law which is derived from God
Does Aquinas believe there is a right to revolution?
Yes if the rule is substantially detrimental to the good.