Goodness and Rightness in Thomas Aquinas's "Summa Theologiae"
By (author) James F. Keenan
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Goodness and Rightness in Thomas Aquinas's Summa Theologiae by James F. Keenan
Book DescriptionThis appraisal of two of the most fundamental terms in the moral language of Thomas Aquinas draws on the contemporary moral distinction between the goodness of a person and the rightness of a person's living. Keenan thus finds that Aquinas' earlier writings do not permit the possibility of such a distinction. But in his mature works, specifically "The Summa Theologiae", Thomas describes the human act of moral intentionality, and even the virtues in a way analogous to our use of the term moral rightness. To Thomas, only the virtue of charity expresses moral goodness. And, although Thomas describes vices and sin as wrong conduct, he never really develops a description for moral badness. Keenan compels us to carefully examine Thomas' central moral concepts and to measure them against contemporary standards for meaning and correctness. As a result, any student of Thomas will find here a forceful argument that his notion of the good is considerably different from ours. Similarly, ethicists and moral theologians will find in the Thomas presented here a consistent-virtue ethicist concerned with descriptions for right living. Any student of theology will also find here a Thomas whose critical and concrete thinking enabled him to develop and even abandon earlier positions as his comprehension of the Good evolved. This analysis prompts a re-examination of our own concepts. Measuring Thomas' standards against our own, Keenan obliges us to ask whether we sufficiently understand rightness and moral intentionality. He also asks whether we correctly describe what it means to will or to desire something. He further questions whether we have surrendered our understanding of the virtues to the voluntarism and subjectivism which Thomas relentlessly critiqued. This historically sophisticated reading of "The Summa Thologiae" both allows Thomas to speak again as he once did, and affords us the chance to evaluate the way we describe ourselves and one another as being good and living rightly.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780878405305
(229mm x 152mm x 15mm)
Imprint: Georgetown University Press
Publisher: Georgetown University Press
Publish Date: 1-Nov-1992
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author James F. Keenan
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Living Catholic Faith in a Contentious Age, Paperback (April 2010)
Catholics, especially in the US, are sharply divided over what constitutes faithful Catholicism. This title offers an exploration of the tension between two opposing views of the meaning of faith held by Catholics around the world.
History of Catholic Moral Theology in the Twentieth Century, Paperback (March 2010)
Presents a historical survey of 20th Century Roman Catholic Theological Ethics. The thesis is that only through historical investigation can we really understand how the most conservative and negative field in Catholic theology at the beginning of the 20th could become by the end of the 20th century the most innovative one.
Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church, Hardback (January 2008)» View all books by James F. Keenan
explores and discusses further the ideas discussed in International Congress of Roman Catholic Ethicists, July 2006, Padua. This book recognizes the need to confront the challenge of pluralism; to dialogue from and beyond local cultures; and to interconnect within a world church, not dominated solely by a northern paradigm.
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Author Biography - James F. Keenan
James F. Kennan, SJ, is the Founders Chair in Theology at Boston College.
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