Wednesday, August 14, 2013
Michael Sean Winters has a nice post up about Jean Bethke Elshtain's Augustine and the Limits of Politics (link), a book that I've read about often, but (mea culpa!) never read, and am now resolved to read. Winters provides, and I'm ripping off here, some powerful quotes:
False pride, pride that turns on the presumption that we are the sole and only ground of our own being; denying our birth from the body of a woman; denying our utter dependence on her and others to nurture and tend to us; denying our continuing dependence on friends and family to sustain us; denying our dependence on our Maker to guide and to shape our destinies, here and in that life in the City of God for which Augustine so ardently yearned, is, then, the name Augustine gives to a particular form of corruption and human deformation. Pridefulness denies our multiple and manifold dependencies and would have us believe that human beings can be masters of their fates, or Masters of the Universe as currently popular super-heroes are named….Every ‘proud man heeds himself, and he who pleases himself seems great to himself. But he who pleases himself pleases a fool, for he himself is a fool when he is pleasing to himself,’ Augustine writes. . . .