In recent years, there has been a great revival of interest in natural law thinking, one that has occurred across a range of disciplines and perspectivesfrom the philosophical and theological to the most contemporary debates in the area of legal and political philosophy. Much of this recent work is traced to the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas. To explore and evaluate the current revival, this volume brings together many of the foremost scholars on natural law. They examine the relation between Thomistic natural law and the larger philosophical and theological tradition. Furthermore, they assess the contemporary relevance of St. Thomass natural law doctrine to current legal and political philosophy.
The book contains an extensive introduction to the topic, followed by four sections that treat various aspects of natural law thinking. The first section examines some of the philosophical foundations of natural law, especially the understanding of nature it presupposes. The second section is devoted to the theological context in which St. Thomass natural law doctrine is situated. The essays in the third section discuss the new natural law theory espoused by Germain Grisez and John Finnis and the hotly debated question as to whether their theory is genuinely Thomistic. The final section explores several contemporary legal and political issues in light of St. Thomass natural law thinking.