A History of Modern Democracy and the Christian Ethic
In Rediscovering Christianity, Page Smith traces Christian thought through Western history, and asks what solutions that tradition might offer to our society’s present malaise. He draws on St. Augustine’s idea of two distinct and separate cities (the city of God and the city of man) and traces the “city of man” from the Roman Empire to present-day society, lost in consumerism, decadence, and overindulgence.
After detailing the tenets of Christianity and moving through European history to the philosophies of Wycliffe, Luther, Calvin, John Winthrop, and Descartes, Smith examines the political and religious origins of democracy in America. He asks us to look back to the past to find a new vision of a possible future and calls for a return to the values of decency, generosity, and piety, values which have been at the core of what made society human since the beginning of time.