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This noteworthy book develops a new theory of the natural law that takes its orientation from the account of the natural law developed by Thomas Aquinas, as interpreted and supplemented in the context of scholastic theology in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Though this history might seem irrelevant to twenty-first-century life, Jean Porter shows that the scholastic approach to the natural law still has much to contribute to the contemporary discussion of Christian ethics. Aquinas and his interlocutors provide a way of thinking about the natural law that is distinctively theological while at the same time remaining open to other intellectual perspectives, including those of science. In the course of her work, Porter examines the scholastics' assumptions and beliefs about nature, Aquinas's account of happiness, and the overarching claim that reason can generate moral norms. Ultimately, Porter argues that a Thomistic theory of the natural law is well suited to provide a starting point for developing a more nuanced account of the relationship between specific beliefs and practices. While Aquinas's approach to the natural law may not provide a system of ethical norms that is both universally compelling and detailed enough to be practical, it does offer something that is arguably more valuable -- namely, a way of reflecting theologically on the phenomenon of human morality.
Rhonheimer applies moral theology to practical questions, such as, what does it mean to violate the natural law, or to be unnatural?
The Perspective of the Acting Person introduces readers to one of the most important and provocative thinkers in contemporary moral philosophy
To explore and evaluate the current revival, this volume brings together many of the foremost scholars on natural law. They examine the relation between Thomistic natural law and the larger philosophical and theological tradition. Furthermore, they assess the contemporary relevance of St. Thomas's natural law doctrine to current legal and political philosophy.
This edited volume examines the ways in which theological considerations have figured in natural law theorizing, from Plato to Spinoza. Theological considerations have long had a pronounced role in Catholic natural law theories, but have not been seriously examined from a wider perspective. The contributors to this volume take a more inclusive view of the relation between conceptions of natural law and theistic claims and principles. They do not jointly defend one particular thematic claim, but articulate diverse ways in which natural law has both been understood and related to theistic claims. In addition to exploring Plato and the Stoics, the volume also looks at medieval Jewish thought, the thought of Aquinas, Scotus, and Ockham, and the ways in which Spinoza's thought includes resonances of earlier views and intimations of later developments. Taken as a whole, these essays enlarge the scope of the discussion of natural law through study of how the naturalness of natural law has often been related to theses about the divine. The latter are often crucial elements of natural law theorizing, having an integral role in accounting for the metaethical status and ethical bindingness of natural law. At the same time, the question of the relation between natural law and God — and the relation between natural law and divine command — has been addressed in a multiplicity of ways by key figures throughout the history of natural law theorizing, and these essays accord them the explanatory significance they deserve.
An original new study of Aquinas's ideas in two key areas of ethical thought: the will and human action, with important new insights on a range of theological topics as well - including love, sin, and the moral virtues.
“Aquinas,” says Jean Porter, “gets justice right.” In this book she shows that Aquinas offers us a cogent and illuminating account of justice as a personal virtue rather than a virtue of social institutions, as John Rawls and his interlocutors have described it — and as most people think of it today. Porter presents a thoughtful interpretation of Aquinas’s account of the complex virtue of justice as set forth in the Summa theologiae, focusing on his key claim that justice is a perfection of the will. Building on her interpretation of Aquinas on justice, Porter also develops a constructive expansion of his work, illuminating major aspects of Aquinas’s views and resolving tensions in his thought so as to draw out contemporary implications of his account of justice that he could not have anticipated.

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