February 27, 2006

The State, Economics, & the Church

I've blogged in the past about The Church Confronts Modernity. The book is densely packed with thoughts worth quoting. I'm now on the chapter about economics (btw, see this Terrence Berres post on the controversy swirling around the holy, socialist (Communist seems too harsh) Dorothy Day).

One nugget suggests Thomists are from Mars, Augustinians from Venus:
It is of considerable significance that St. Thomas Aquinas and the Scholastics should have rejected the the theory of the state held, for example, by St. Augustine - namely, that the state came into existence as a result of original sin. Aquinas denied that the state was merely a necessary evil, arguing instead that even had man not fallen from his original state, government would still be both necessary and just. It is significant that this came to be the dominant view within the Church, since a philosophy that placed the origins of the state in the consequences of human iniquity was much less likely to emphasize the state's positive role of securing the common good.

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