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Robert G. Moser, Chair BAT 2.116, Mailcode A1800, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-5121

Fall 2008

GOV 382M • Polit Philos/Relig/Polit Theol

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
39660 W
7:00 PM-10:00 PM
BAT 5.102
Budziszewski, J

Course Description

Graduate standing required. Should religion be domesticated in order to serve the polity, discouraged because it resists domestication by the polity, promoted because it serves aspects of the good that transcend the polity, ignored because it is irrelevant to the polity, or treated in yet another way? Does the answer depend on what kind of religion we are talking about? And what happens if we ask the question about politics in the name of religion, rather than about religion in the name of the polity? Two thirds of the semester will be devoted to surveying the views of Western political and religious thinkers from ancient times to the present. During the final unit, students will briefly present their research papers to the seminar.


Online readings are excerpted from Plato, Republic; Aristotle, Politics; Cicero, De legibus and De re publica; the Bible; Augustine, City of God; Thomas Aquinas, Treatise on Law; Spinoza, Tractatus Theologico-Politicus; Rousseau, Social Contract; Locke, Letter Concerning Toleration; Abraham Kuyper, Calvinism and Politics; Second Vatican Council, Dignitatis Humanae and Gaudium et Spes; and Benedict XVI, "Three Stages in the Program of De-Hellenization" (also known as the Regensberg Lecture); U.S. Supreme Court case Lemon v. Kurtzman (1971). Readings packet with excerpts from various Fathers of the Church; John Courtney Murray, We Hold These Truths; John Rawls, Political Liberalism; Robert George, The Clash of Orthodoxies; Russell Hittinger, The First Grace; Ellis Sandoz, ed., Political Sermons of the Founding Era; and James H. Cone, Black Theology and Black Power. For purchase, Harro Höpfl, translator, Luther and Calvin on Secular Authority.


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