“Elshtain, Augustine and the Limits of Politics” Summary

Augustine contends that due to the many circumstances of an era humans have different expectations for the future ahead. The individual only take pleasure in issues that are simple minded due to this they are victims of trickery. Trickery of promises in which the individual do not see honored,  they are to be blamed for this for at the site of work or reform they cower. Humans in essence are perceived to be contradictory and what they hold high undermines true human virtues. Augustine is essentially deemed to be a man that modern humans can tailor themselves from in that he is a complex character who hides no secrets and can appreciate the smaller things in life, such being a “tear”. Augustine is the typical human not offering remedies but telling of his experiences in which one might learn to change.  Augustine’s book confessions is deemed appropriate in defining how humans should go about living as Augustine breaks rules of conformity in order to maintain what he feels will make him a better person. Augustine is the awakening of an individual that was lost and this relates to humans in society as everyone is searching for self Augustine transcended the modern men of today in that he achieved separation from what the masses view as important in today’s society. It is declared that Augustine does not fit into modern sphere of politics because his beliefs and actions contradicts how the typical citizen should act Augustine ask questions and relate experience that essentially calls for the finding of self and unchaining of the mind from norms of the world. This quote best illustrates why those in modern politics stay clear of Augustine “There is much we understand be- cause we believe-not, however, from a stance of naive credulity, or because belief somehow brings inquiry to a definitive halt. To the contrary: belief should spur understanding and sustain further inquiry.” The individual is encourage to think and not only do so but always ask questions.


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