I think our grandparents would be ashamed of us. The left has distorted simple truths unto oblivion; think about it, the notion and efficacy of family needs be defended. Shameful.

Expand full comment

Your article is very interesting. The problem is your understanding of the Christian position as Augustinian: Political Augustinism became the de facto civil theology until the end of Middle Age and in this sense, it opened the door for a more radical form of gnostic political theology.

Voegelin touches repeatedly this point:

Page: 156: "St. Ambrose and St. Augustin were oddly insensitive to the fact that a Christian on the throne would, under their guidance, treat pagans in the same manner in which pagan emperors had formerly treated Christians …. They did not recognize that an existential victory of Christianity was not a conversion of individual human souls to a higher truth but the forceful imposition of a new theologia civilis on a society".

Page 157: "the Christian Patres did not display the perspicacity of Plato when the same problem was forced upon them by historical circumstances. Apparently, they did not understand that Christianity could superseded polytheism but not abolish the need of a civil theology".

In a classical demonstration of the etherogenesis of the ends, in order to fight heresies and gnostics (Page 159) "the Inquisition leaned strongly as the agent of the theologia civilis and thereby became untrue to its essence as the representative of the charitas Dei in history."

Voegelin follows closely the reasonings of Peterson versus Schmidt, and concludes like Peterson, that orthdox Christianity could not lend itself to become a civil or political theology:

page 105-106: "when the resistance of Athanasius , supported by the westerners, had carried the trinitarian symbolism to victory, the speculation on parallel monarchies in heaven and earth could no longer be continued…. The one person of imperial monarch could not represent the triune divinity …. This is the end of political theology."

Even though Augustin was fervently ant chiliastic and then antijoachimite, he structured the middle age vision where

(page 110) "Western society thus was articulated into the spiritual and temporal order, with pope and emperor the supreme representatives in both the existential and the transcendental sense."

His solution of the relationship with the empire was a matter of immense import. Still in 380 practically all the orthdox bishops were horrified when Prisciallian was put to death by the emperor-candidate. Yet, just 20 years later Augustin changed his mind and asked the emperor to stamp out heretics. Political Augustinism became the law of the land throughout the middle age, and it seems that also today still is the dominant thought.

Thus Augustin prepares the way for Joachim:

(page 110) "From this society with its established system of symbols emerge the specifically modern problem of representation, with the resurgence of eschatology of the realm … the desire for a redivinization of society produced a definite symbolism of its own towards the end of the twelfth century."

Augustinian Christianity was a fractured vessel which brought in itself a fatal weakness which eventually opened the door to the rebirth of messianic Gnosticism. The acceptance of the empire as an instrument for evangelization prepares and surreptitiously reintroduces the re-divinization of political power. Political Augustinism today is in shambles and messianic Gnosticism is triumphant on the left and on the right,

the answer is not the rebirth of political Augustinism, which would mean also that Peterson and Voegelin are completely wrong. The answer is evangelization. You do not save souls and you do not change society by imposing a Christian sharia; you save souls and change society when individual human souls are touched by the good news that death has been overcome.

Giuseppe T. Gennarini

Expand full comment

There's nothing in this article about the post liberal future of the Republican party which is why I clicked the link. Am I missing something here?

Expand full comment

The El American link is dead

Expand full comment