Magazine article First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life

The Perspective of the Acting Person: Essays in the Renewal of Thomistic Moral Philosophy

Magazine article First Things; A Monthly Journal of Religion and Public Life

The Perspective of the Acting Person: Essays in the Renewal of Thomistic Moral Philosophy

Article excerpt

THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE ACTING PERSON: ESSAYS IN THE RENEWAL OF THOMISTIC MORAL PHILOSOPHY by MARTIN RHONHEIMER Catholic University of America Press, 329 pages, $39.95

Martin Rhonheimer first appeared in the pages of an American theological journal in January 1994 when The Thomist pubUshed as the lead article his essay on intrinsically evil acts.

Since that time, the name of Martin Rhonheimer has become a familiar one among English-speaking moral philosophers and theologians. He ranks with such scholars as WUliam May, Germain Grisez, Ralph McInerny, Steven Long, and Benedict Ashley. These are the authors who helped post-Vatican II Catholics figure out the fundamentals of moral theology.

Before 1965, moral theologians, more likely than not, also practiced canon law. After the Council, the best moral theologians either are themselves moral philsophers or are weU read in moral philosophy. The 1993 encycUcal Veritatis Splendor set certain directions for Catholic moral theology. Natural teleology and the beatific vision fit together just as natural law finds completion in the Sermon on the Mount The imitation of Christ, right moral judgment, and the cruciform virtuous life, even to martyrdom, constitute the hermeneutical thread that ties together the diverse elements of what arguably represents the most important magisterial document of the John Paul II pontificate.

Martin Rhonheimer has published in the major European languages books and essays that advance a certain oudook on CadioUc moral theology and social diought He also proposes an adroit interpretation of Veritatis Splendor. …

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