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Augustine, Shakespeare, and Tolkien on the Identification and Excellence of Humility in Politics.

  • Academic Journal
  • Kundmueller, Michelle M.1 michelle.kundmueller@cnu.edu
  • Perspectives on Political Science. Oct-Dec2018, Vol. 47 Issue 4, p210-217. 8p.
  • As Aristotle and Augustine both noted, virtue constitutes a particularly difficult subject for political analysis. Limited to hearsay evidence of the state of the consciences of our fellows, we are severely limited in our capacity to use real-world experience as a gauge on the interaction between humility and politics. I have circumnavigated this obstacle by taking a literary perspective, asking what authors, in their privileged status as creators of their characters, can tell us about the relationship between humility and politics. In King Lear and The Lord of the Rings the authors offer similar solutions to the difficulty of identifying humility in politics: to see the humility of others, one must possess it oneself. The ability to perceive humility in political action, as Tolkien and Shakespeare further suggest, opens the door for the formation of critical political alliances. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

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