Augustine’s Anthropology, Ethics, and Politics


Perhaps history’s most influential theologian, Augustine had a highly developed anthropology, which in turn informs his ethics and politics. This course will explore this relationship first-hand in Augustine’s writing, seeking its contemporary relevance.

Taught by Mr. Onsi Kamel.

Runs 1/10-3/19/21.

Auditing: participate in readings and live class sessions, but no graded assignments and no course credit
Full course part-time: individual classes on a for-credit basis; you can later apply them toward a Certificate or Degree
Full course full-time: for-credit courses (at least four per term) toward our Certificate or M.Litt in Classical Protestantism


This Systematics course will be taught by Mr. Onsi Kamel and will run from from January 10th through March 19th 2022. The syllabus is available here.

In the confusion of the twenty-first century West, we are tearing ourselves apart over fundamental questions in an unprecedented way. We are apparently post-everything – politically postmodern, ethically post-virtue, anthropologically post-human. Sadly, many Christians have found themselves without the theological framework to respond to such a rapidly changing world, reacting either with capitulation, retreat, or a renewed culture war.

But perhaps history’s most influential theologian, Augustine (354 – 430 AD),  can come to our aid. The great Doctor of the Church had a highly developed anthropology, which in turn informed his ethics and politics. In knowing God, Augustine knew man’s true end, and so knew the nature of man. With this in place, he made some of the most significant contributions to Christian theology about how man should then live in the world.

This course will explore first-hand the relationship between anthropology, ethics, and politics in Augustine’s writing. Students will understand, apply, and critique his answers to questions about humanity, our obligations to one another, and the proper ordering of our lives together.

Onsi Kamel (MA, University of Chicago) is Editor-in-Chief of The Davenant Press. His writing has appeared in the Scottish Journal of Theology, as well as Davenant publications, Mere Orthodoxy, Breaking Ground, and First Things. He writes a regular newsletter entitled The New Philosophy.

Online only, runs 10 weeks, meeting 2 hr./wk. via Zoom. Students will also have the option to participate in class discussion in the Davenant Common Room Discord server. Register to reserve your spot and schedule will be set after a poll of participating students; if the class time does not fit your schedule, you will be eligible for a full refund.
This is a graduate-level course. Although a BA is not a necessary pre-requisite for this course, students should come prepared to do graduate-level work.