Of Just War

by St. Augustine


1)  Under what circumstances, according to Augustine, should Christians fight in war?

2)   How does Augustine understand Christ’s command to "turn the other cheek"?

3)  Augustine discusses two cities -- the earthly and the heavenly -- what does he mean by each?

4) What virtues does Augustine discuss and what are their place in human life?

5) What is Augustine's understanding of earthly justice? What are its limitations?

6) Can the earthly judge or the soldier ever be a happy man? If not, why doesn't Augustine advise the judge to give up his post?

7) Peace means much more than the absence of hostilities among states for Augustine, what is it? Where is it found?

Paper topics

1) All human beings, even the fierce, bad and war-like, desire peace, according to Augustine. Do his arguments suggest any hope for the end of conflict? If not, how does Augustine argue in favor of such a paradoxical position?

2) According to Augustine, what is the good life for a human being? What part does friendship and other human relationships play in our happiness?

3) What is the peace of Babylon? Why does Augustine think that Christians should seek it?

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