he [Rawls] “became deeply concerned with theology and its doctrines”, and considered attending a seminary to study for the Episcopal priesthood. But he decided to enlist in the army instead, “as so many of my friends and classmates were doing”. By June of 1945, he had abandoned his orthodox Christian beliefs.
“There is no merit before God. Nor should there be merit before Him. True community does not count the merits of its members. Merit is a concept rooted in sin, and well disposed of”. This claim is theological, associated with an interpretation of divine grace.
[Rawls'] thesis criticizes the infection of Christianity, through Augustine and Aquinas, by the ethical conceptions of Plato and Aristotle, according to which ethics is concerned not with interpersonal relations but with the pursuit of the good by each individual separately. In its hellenized form, Christianity treats God as the supreme object of desire. Rawls objects that this misses “the spiritual and personal element which forms the deep inner core of the universe”.