Natural and Divine Law: Reclaiming the Tradition for Christian Ethics

Natural and Divine Law: Reclaiming the Tradition for Christian Ethics

Natural and Divine Law: Reclaiming the Tradition for Christian Ethics

Natural and Divine Law: Reclaiming the Tradition for Christian Ethics

Synopsis

Though the concept of natural law took center stage during the Middle Ages, the theological aspects of this august intellectual tradition have been largely forgotten by the modern church. In this book ethicist Jean Porter shows the continuing significance of the natural law tradition for Christian ethics. Based on a careful analysis of natural law as it emerged in the medieval period, Porter's work explores several important scholastic theologians and canonists whose writings are not only worthy of study in their own right but also make important contributions to moral reflection today.

Excerpt

It is my pleasant task to thank those who have supported my efforts in writing this book. Thanks are due first of all to the administration of the University of Notre Dame, and to my departmental chair, John Cavadini, for granting me a sabbatical during the 1997–1998 academic year, during which this book was completed. My research and writing were supported by generous grants from the Notre Dame Graduate School, the Institute for Scholarship in the Liberal Arts of the College of Arts and Letters at Notre Dame, and by a Henry Luce III Fellowship for 1997–1998 awarded by the Association of Theological Schools in the United States and Canada. During my sabbatical, I also benefited from the hospitality of Christ Church, Oxford, as a temporary Honorary Member of their Senior Common Room. I am deeply appreciative of this institutional and financial support, since without it my work would have been much more difficult.

I also want to express my thanks to those who commented on some portion of the manuscript, including Margaret Farley and Hindy Najman. Joseph Pearson read an early draft of the complete manuscript and offered me a number of invaluable comments and suggestions, as well as preparing an extensive bibliography. In addition, Mark Johnson provided me with a very helpful bibliography on topics related to this project. William Mattison prepared the bibliography for this volume, thus saving me much time and trouble. I am also indebted to two anonymous readers; to my editor at Novalis, Stephen Scharper; and to the copy editor who worked . . .

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