Political Realism in St Augustine of Hippo’s Theology of Original Sin: Some Practical Considerations

Blazio M. Manobo ORCID iD

Issue: Vol.8  No.2 February 2022 Issue  Article 3 pp.27-35
DOI : https://doi.org/10.38159/erats.2022823  |   Published online 8th February 2022.
© 2022 The Author(s). This is an open access article under the CCBY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).


The problem of evil has preoccupied religious and secular discussions for centuries. All religions of the world have tried to proffer explanations of how evil came into the world and whether human beings are evil by nature or by imitation. Modern Political realism has waded into the discussion with the assertion that human beings inherited selfishness, pride, egocentricity from their first parents. Some proponents of political realism find justification in the Judeo-Christian theology of St Augustine of Hippo whose theology of Original sin traces the origins of evil to Adam’s sin. This paper seeks to establish the relationship between modern political realism and St Augustine’s theology of Original sin. Using a historical-critical and hermeneutic approach, the article argues that the evil committed by political realists cannot be justified through St Augustine’s theology of Original sin. It further asserts that rather than having a limiting effect, the doctrine of Original sin can be a liberating notion. Consequently, the study concludes that the moral evil of selfishness exuded by politicians stems not from human beings’ nature as free human beings but from their nurture and maybe changeable by recourse to the doctrine of Original sin.

Keywords: Realism, Original sin, evil, Augustine

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Blazio Manobo (PhD) is a Senior Lecturer at the Catholic University of Zimbabwe specializing in Systematic Theology with special research interests in Theology and development, Eco-theology, and liberation theology. He has published several articles in international journals and book chapters on systematic theology and published a book on ‘The Future of Religious Life in Africa: Trials and Visions’.

Manobo, B.M. “Political Realism in St Augustine of Hippo’s Theology of Original Sin: Some Practical Considerations,” E-Journal of Religious and Theological Studies, 8 no.2 (2022): 27-35.  https://doi.org/10.38159/erats.2022823

© 2022 The Author(s). Published and Maintained by Noyam Publishers. This is an open access article under the CCBY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).