Writing with a strong sense of urgency, Charles Mathewes engages St. Augustine as he takes the measure of our dark times. We need not despair, he tells us. Instead, we must recover the language and possibility of hope, a virtue we are in danger of losing. . . . A gracefully written, engaging work, The Republic of Grace demonstrates why Mathewes has become one of his generations most important interpreters of Augustine.
Jean Bethke Elshtain
University of Chicago
Mathewes reminds us that faith, hope, and love give shape to politics as well as personal life. His Augustinian reflections for dark times serve the same purpose as the great theologians sermons and writings. He gives us confidence in the direction of history, without making us too sure of our own place in it. He urges us to take responsibility for the actions of our nation, without forgetting the judgment of God. These are perennial themes, but Mathewes gives them fresh relevance for the post9/11 world.
Southern Methodist University
Charles Mathewes has rapidly developed respect in the scholarly guild for his first-rate scholarship offering a renewal of Augustinian public theology for our time. The Republic of Grace marks Mathewess turn toward the communication of this rich tradition to a broader audience. . . . A major contribution to Christian political (and ecclesial) theology.
David P. Gushee
We do live in dark times, and Charles Mathewes is right to think that sustaining hope under such circumstances is one of the central challenges of our politics. He is also right to insist that the Christian churches have a crucial role to play in meeting that challenge and that they cannot do so faithfully without taking the heritage of St. Augustine seriously. Mathewes is one of the keenst interpreters of that heritage in his generation.
About the Author
Charles Mathewes is associate professor of religious studies at the University of Virginia. His other books include Evil and the Augustinian Tradition and A Theology of Public Life.