Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Wisdom, Law, and VirtueEssays in Thomistic Ethics$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Lawrence Dewan

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780823227969

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823227969.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM FORDHAM SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Fordham University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in FSO for personal use (for details see www.fordham.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 14 December 2018

Death in the Setting of Divine Wisdom: The Doctrine of St. Thomas Aquinas

Death in the Setting of Divine Wisdom: The Doctrine of St. Thomas Aquinas

(p.326) Chapter 19 Death in the Setting of Divine Wisdom: The Doctrine of St. Thomas Aquinas
Wisdom, Law, and Virtue

Lawrence Dewan

Fordham University Press

This chapter clarifies St. Thomas's doctrine that the Decalogue, including the commandment “thou shalt not kill,” has such primacy in the order of law that God himself cannot dispense anyone from obeying any of them—God himself cannot make it just that anyone act contrary to any of the Ten Commandments. This seems evident enough for those commandments having to do with man's order to God, but it is more difficult to admit when the commandment treats of the relations among human beings. To see why Thomas teaches that God cannot make exceptions even concerning the order of man to man, one must grasp the unity of justice, or the unity of eternal law (which is identical with God), the indissociability of the order of man to God, and the order of man to man. To bring out this indissociability, which pertains to the eternal establishment of fundamental human relations, the chapter begins with Thomas's presentation of God as just. It shows that the reason God cannot permit exceptions regarding “thou shalt not kill” is that the commandment belongs essentially to justice itself, and, God being justice, for him to deny this commandment would be for him to deny himself.

Keywords:   Thomas Aquinas, Decalogue, God, justice, wisdom

Fordham Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .