Synthetic Kingdom: The Seduction of Idolatry

Synthetic Kingdom: The Seduction of Idolatry

This thesis argues that it is only through a reordering and redirecting of its love towards the highest good, which is God, and with the help of the Church as a guide to do so, that humanity can once again enjoy the purpose for which it was created – love of God and love of neighbor. Saint Augustine’s City of God offers a discussion of how this state of ordering came to pass through comparing what he categorizes as the earthly city and the heavenly city. In his depiction of the nature of the two cities, Augustine offers a solution to the displacement of love. He affirms that it is the Church’s obligation, as the Church is called to love both God and neighbor, to vigorously uphold this two-fold divine decree through uplifting the inhabitants of the earthly city to also pursue love of God and neighbor. The Church is to draw its neighbors towards love of God through the pursuit of common goods – not merely for the sake of peace, but for the sake of the earthly individual – in an effort to align the two cities with the will of God. However, he notes that through this engagement the Church is not to compromise its values, but should remain true to its identity in Christ.

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