Jacques Maritain, St. Thomas, and the Philosophy of Religion

Lawrence Dewan

in Wisdom, Law, and Virtue

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print February 2007 | ISBN: 9780823227969
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823237210 | DOI:

Series: Moral Philosophy and Moral Theology

Jacques Maritain, St.               Thomas, and the Philosophy of Religion

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This chapter treats philosophy of religion as the highest part of moral philosophy. Jacques Maritain championed the development of as autonomous a moral philosophy as is possible in the universe, the true dynamics of whose sphere of action is revealed to us in the Gospel. He argued both that moral philosophy does not yet exist and that the principles for fully developed moral philosophy are to be found in the writings of St. Thomas Aquinas. Accordingly, the chapter makes some suggestions concerning possible use of the treasure to be found in St. Thomas's theological writings, with a view to developing as far as possible an autonomous moral philosophy. Furthermore, religion being the highest form of justice, and having its cause in our love for God, it puts forward as a primary problem for the philosopher of religion the explanation of the distinction between justice and friendship or love, and the presentation of the causal relation between the two (love as the cause of justice): the idea being to trace this distinction to its roots in the very nature of being.

Keywords: Jacques Maritain; Thomas Aquinas; philosophy of religion; moral philosophy; autonomous

Chapter.  3665 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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