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AUGUSTINE AND CORRUPTION

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Abstract:

Augustine's political thought or, as it is often called, political theology is a matter of considerable dispute. 'Augustine and Corruption' approaches that dispute by examining the evidence that Ramsay MacMullen presented to substantiate his observation that Augustine 'approved of' corruption. I read that evidence differently and use Augustine's remarks about bribes paid to court clerks, schemes to defraud philanthropists, and tax evasion to support what has been aptly called 'a minimalist' interpretation of his political expectations.

Keywords: Augustine; Christianity; Public service; Salvian of Marseilles; compassion; corruption; defensores plebis; extortion; fraud; greed; magistrates; social criticism

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Modlin Professor, Jepson School of Leadership Studies, University of Richmond, 28 Westhampton Way, Richmond, VA 23173, USA, Email: pkaufman@richmond.edu

Publication date: 2009-01-01

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