Is St. Thomas Aquinas’s Moral Teaching Christian? The Answer of Servais Pinckaers, O.P.

Solidarity: The Journal for Catholic Social Thought and Secular Ethics 5 (1):Article 3 (2015)
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Servais Pinckaers, in his most important work, The Sources of Christian Ethics, asks the provocative question: is the Moral Theology of St. Thomas Aquinas Christian or, alternatively, does Aquinas rely so much on the ethics of Aristotle that his teaching is merely philosophical? This paper presents an overview of Pinckaers’s answer to this question. His answer is important in that it addresses a common misinterpretation of St. Thomas, which is to overstress his Aristotelian influence and understate his reliance on Scripture, the Fathers (especially Augustine), and the New Law of the Gospel. In this way Pinckaers forms part of a ressourcement in Thomistic studies that seeks to reaffirm the evangelical character of Aquinas’s work and its importance in the renewal of Moral Theology called for at Second Vatican Council.


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