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Justice the Form, Love the Content: On Augustine’s Vision of the Moral Life

Journal article
Authors Martin Westerholm
Published in Studies in Christian Ethics
ISSN 09539468
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Literature, History of Ideas, and Religion
Language en
Links https://doi.org/10.1177/09539468198...
Keywords apostle Paul, Augustine, desire, injustice, justice, love, power, Wolterstorff
Subject categories Philosophy, Ethics and Religion

Abstract

© The Author(s) 2019. This article contributes to recent reconsiderations of justice and love by developing Augustine’s account of their relation against the backdrop of his wider understanding of the moral economy that we inhabit. As a formal point, I argue that consideration of justice and love is incomplete apart from broader reflection on a moral economy because the shaping of our moral space by injustice forms the possibilities of the appearances of justice. As a concrete proposal, I argue that Augustine presents love as the content of justice and justice as the form of love. The former notion is rooted in love’s place as the content of divine law. The latter is grounded in the reformation of love for service as a political emotion through the work of Christ.

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