Common Objects of Love: Moral Reflection and the Shaping of Community
“A people, we may say, is a gathered multitude of rational beings united by agreeing to share the things they love.” So Augustine famously challenged the classical definition of a republic articulated by Cicero, replacing an idealist understanding of organized social life with a realist one, which would allow for radical criticism without dissolving the political phenomenon altogether.
My purpose in this year’s Stob Lectures is not to explore the expository questions surrounding Augustine’s proposal, nor to discuss the merits of realist and idealist political theories. It is, rather, to exploit the understanding that Augustine holds out to us, by reflecting on a range of common moral and social phenomena characteristic of life in late-modern society, and holding them up to the light of his suggestion.
These are audios (RAM) of the 3 lectures
The Augustinian thesis that the primary mode of knowing is loving. Our experience of knowing the world.
Communication as the basis of society. Material and intellectual communications. Representation.
The problem of representation in our age. The eschatological overheating and trivialization of communications