This article explores the thought of St Augustine and its relevancy to acceptance or rejection of the social service state. It notes Augustine’s emphasis on the transitory nature of modernity and the primacy of the spiritual. It examines Augustine’s pessimistic scenario concerning the secular state and its accomplishments. It suggests that Augustinianism would be fare less receptive to the social state and its strengthening of secular power than the more optimistic and more “incarnational” Thomism.
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