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Friendship, politics, and Augustine's consolidation of the self


Friendship plays a central role in Augustine's thought. It also played a crucial role in structuring the political and social world of the ancient Greeks. Augustine's treatment of friendship, especially in his Confessions, retains some of the terminology that was central to the Greek account, but it simultaneously transforms friendship, and with it the relationship between individual and community. Augustine's formulation of the inner life is reflected in his transformation of friendship, which loses its inherently social character and political dimension even as it sets the stage for the introduction of political thinking based on the primacy of the individual.

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W. Harrelson (1951) ‘The idea of agape in the New Testament’, The Journal of Religion, 31, 169–82.

E. Millgram (1987) ‘Aristotle on making other selves’, Canadian Journal of Philosophy 17, 361376.

J. Scorza (2004) ‘Liberal citizenship and civic friendship’, Political Theory, 32, 85–108.

P. Simpson (2001) ‘Aristotle's idea of the self’, The Journal of Value Inquiry, 35, 309324.

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Religious Studies
  • ISSN: 0034-4125
  • EISSN: 1469-901X
  • URL: /core/journals/religious-studies
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