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Jihad and Justice: Augustine's Citizens

September 28th, 2007 | 3 min read

By Tex

Besides distinguishing between two cities: the city of God and the city of man, Augustine also pays close attention to the differences between the members of these two cities. By examining the nature of the populace once can gain a clearer view of the ends towards which each of these two cities strive.

Augustine refers to those citizens of the city of God who are currently living on earth as pilgrims, highlighting the fact that they are looking forward to something other than the current state of affairs in which they find themselves. Nevertheless, while they are living on earth, the goods and pursuits of the citizens of both cities are intricately related. Both cities desire certain types of peace and harmony. The city of man strives after “earthly peace in the goods and advantages which belong to this temporal life.” The citizens of the city of God who are on pilgrimage on earth “[look] forward to the blessings which are promises as eternal in the life to come.”

Further, the pilgrims make use of the same goods and advantages as the city of men, only they do so to the end of achieving a lasting and eternal peace. The earthly city establishes civil law with the aim of maintaining concord among the citizens so that they might go about pursing their happiness in earthly goods.

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