Why <i>Natura Pura</i> is not the Theological Stalking Horse for Secularist Minimalism or Pelagianism

Steven A. Long

in Natura Pura

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print April 2009 | ISBN: 9780823231058
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823237012 | DOI:

Series: Moral Philosophy and Moral Theology

Why Natura Pura is             not the Theological Stalking Horse for Secularist Minimalism or Pelagianism

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Irrespective of the optimal relation between revealed theology and philosophy, is it not the case that to affirm the reality of nature and the persistence of the proximate natural end is to provide a foundation for secularism? There is strong reason to think that the rejection of natural law, natural reason, and the classical Thomistic sense of the praeambula fidei is at least partially rooted in an oversensitivity to, and a lack of critical philosophic distance from, essentially Protestant modes of theology. This chapter considers certain prominent analyses pertinent to the question of whether the Thomistic idea of natura pura necessitates, calls for, or is best articulated by the project of crafting a purely secular zone of practical agreement as the basis for social, political, and legal order, with no reference to the order of grace.

Keywords: natural law; natural reason; theology; secularism; nature; grace; natural end; natura pura; Thomism

Chapter.  22843 words. 

Subjects: Christian Theology

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