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On Law, Morality, and Politics

af Thomas Aquinas

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315162,034 (2.97)1
The second edition of Aquinas, On Law, Morality, and Politics retains the selection of texts presented in the first edition but offers them in new translations by Richard J. Regan--including that of his Aquinas, Treatise on Law (Hackett, 2000). A revised Introduction and glossary, an updated select bibliography, and the inclusion of summarizing headnotes for each of the units--Conscience, Law, Justice, Property, War and Killing, Obedience and Rebellion, and Practical Wisdom and Statecraft--further enhance its usefulness.… (mere)

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Combining the Neo-Platonist influenced theological and political thoughts of St. Augustine with Aristotelian influenced reasoning, St. Thomas Aquinas drastically changed medieval theology and political thought which would far-reaching consequences ever since. On Law, Morality, and Politics is a selection of excerpts from Aquinas’ Summa Theologica and two from On Kingship that provide the reader a glimpse at his thinking.

Of the roughly 280 pages in this collection, almost four-fifths of dedicated to the exploration of law and justice in various facets. The minute differences between types of law (divine, natural, and human) that Aquinas discusses in full then the various types of justice is a mind-numbing exercise of reading that almost makes one throw away the book. The final fifth of the book of selections features a little morality but mostly on politics from leadership to church-state relations of various types. With exception of the two selections from On Kingship, Aquinas’ style of listing objections to the points he is about to make then stating his opinion and finally replying to the previous objections is rather self-aggrandizing. Yet save for a short introduction, there was no commentary to help the layman reader to understand what Aquinas was saying—though in the last fifth of the book it was easier because Aquinas’ thoughts were straightforward compared to the law and justice sections—and making it hard to keep reading.

On Law, Morality, and Politics by St. Thomas Aquinas is a collection of excerpts, with two exceptions, from his most famous work yet only the last fifth of the book is clear cut and straightforward. The lack of commentary to help the read understand what Aquinas is trying to make clear and why it is important makes understanding the thinking of the man hard. ( )
  mattries37315 | Oct 19, 2019 |
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Preface -- The writings of Thomas Aquinas on morals and politics deserve wide circulation for a host of reasons. No student of political thought can be considered well-grounded in the Western tradition if the contribution of the Middle Ages in that tradition is ignored.
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The second edition of Aquinas, On Law, Morality, and Politics retains the selection of texts presented in the first edition but offers them in new translations by Richard J. Regan--including that of his Aquinas, Treatise on Law (Hackett, 2000). A revised Introduction and glossary, an updated select bibliography, and the inclusion of summarizing headnotes for each of the units--Conscience, Law, Justice, Property, War and Killing, Obedience and Rebellion, and Practical Wisdom and Statecraft--further enhance its usefulness.

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