Christianity According to St. Augustine and Machiavelli

Topics: Morality, Political philosophy, God Pages: 4 (1396 words) Published: April 29, 2004
In St. Augustine's book entitled Political Writings, one could see that Christianity plays a very important role in his view of politics. His opinion on the morality or lack of morality in politics, to me makes it more evident that Christianity persuades his views. Although it seems his writings have become quite well known and admired, not everyone fully shared his beliefs. Niccolo Machiavelli, for instance, seemed to believe in a government that was not driven by morality, but more by practicality. In, The Prince, Machiavelli stresses that the moral fibers of government should not be so soft. Like St. Augustine, his work went on to become one of the most famous books ever written about politics. Throughout the two works there are some similarities and differences regarding politics, however it their view of Christianity and morality that many find most intriguing.

After reading St. Augustine's book it seemed to me that he had very little interest in politics as a whole, but he did seem to have a a great interest on the moral problems that plagued them. The books that make up this work come from one of his previous works entitled, The City of God, in which Augustine discusses many different aspects of the city. Augustine's view of Christianity in regard to politics was due to the moral decline of the Roman Empire and the effect of this decline on the still faithful Christians. Augustine blamed the pagan gods and their lack of concern for the moral character which defined those who worshiped them. He also makes a reference to Plato's Republic, in regards to the way Plato wanted to banish the poets from his city in speech. Augustine also felt that there should be strong censorship of the poets when writing about the gods because they made fools out of them. Augustine is also very concerned with the amount of people who in past invasions of their homelands escaped by lying about being Christians and then turned their backs on Christ when the danger...
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