Introduction; I: Sin, Freewill and Grace: The Two Cities; II: Politics in a Sinful World; III: Slavery and Private Property; IV: War and Peace; V: Temporal and Spiritual Power; Summary; Bibliography; Index.
Robert Dyson (University of Durham) is well known as the editor of Augustine's De civitate Dei (The City of God against the Pagans, Cambridge, 1998) and of an anthology of Augustine's Political Writings (The Pilgrim City, Boydell, 2001).
It is on the one hand an admirably clear account of the views of five medieval thinkers, each set within his own context and understood on his own terms. At the same time it tells a story: the dramatic story of the rise and fall of political Augustinianism, While remaining true to strict canons of scholarship, Dyson has managed to produce an account that is entirely accessible to the non-medievalist, and indeed his book raises questions about the interaction of politics and ideas (particularly religious ideas) that all students of politics need to think about.--Margaret Canovan-Keele University Dyson's book is excellent: interesting and even entertaining, and it will be of great value to more advanced scholars wanting to get a clearer perception of the history of medieval political thought as a coherent whole because of Dyson's strategic choice of the five thinkers discussed, and because of the book's strong unifying conception, it gives a better sense of the development of medieval political thought than comprehensive narratives manage to do The clarity and impact of the book is due mainly to the author's intellectual grasp of his material. His writing is clear, fluent, and unpretentious.--John Kilcullen-Macquarie University