The Ethics of Saint Thomas Aquinas, Two Courses by Ignatius Theodore Eschmann; Edward A. Synan

By Ignatius Theodore Eschmann; Edward A. Synan

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To a scholastic, the cult of tradition is one of his main and essential interests. —must be investigated. This investigation will bring to light the originality of our passage and this originality is perhaps its most outstanding characteristic. ST I-n, PROLOGUE AND QUESTION 1 11 a. Coordinate Texts in the Summa It was customary for the author of the Summa to inform its readers at every new step about the fact as well as about the significance of what was being done. Thus the structure and the organization of the whole work were made manifest throughout This announcement was laid down in the introductory passages found at the head of every Question or group of Questions.

Hence, on the very basis of this particular purpose of the work, the two Summae cannot in strictness be considered as corresponding efforts of their author. There is no absolute parallelism. Each one has its own organization imposed by the particular object of each. But, at any rate, the case of the Contra gentiles might teach us how a treatise on God the Exemplar might have looked. It could have been something like the Contra gentiles; it could not have been the II Part, which is a "treatise on moral realities," a treatise on human acts and acting, a treatise on virtues and vices.

In the eighteenth century we witness a complete dismemberment of theology into two main pieces, dogmatics and morals, each an autonomous science, each using its own principles and its own methods. In all this a phenomenon that we might call "legalization" or "juridification" is all too visible. Everything is reduced in "dogma" to definition and in "morals" to law. The fundamental tendency of the jurist is to have some text on which he can put his finger, an "authentic" text emanating from competent authority and ready to put an end to all discussion and all 2 The term our author vised here is a Greek loan-word embodying two terms, one of which means "self" (autos), and the second "law" (nomos), hence, "autonomy" means "self-rule," in independence of other authority.

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