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The Disfigured FaceTraditional Natural Law and Its Encounter with Modernity$
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Luis Cortest

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780823228539

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: March 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fso/9780823228539.001.0001

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Chapter Five: Pope Leo XIII and His Legacy

Chapter Five: Pope Leo XIII and His Legacy

(p.65) Chapter Five: Pope Leo XIII and His Legacy
The Disfigured Face

Luis Cortest

Fordham University Press

This chapter discusses the restoration of Christian philosophy through the works of Pope Leo XIII, particularly in his encyclical letter Aeterni Patris. As Pope Leo XII understands it, Christian philosophy is philosophy guided by revelation. He believes that faith could guide reason and that this philosophy would strengthen faith. Leo XIII suggests that Christian philosophy is the best possible philosophy. He is most impressed with the thought of Thomas Aquinas that he holds that the principles established by Thomas could guide Christian philosophers. The chapter argues that it is Leo XIII who proclaimed Thomism the official philosophy of Catholic teachers. For Leo, only those who obey God and follow his commands are free men. The chapter concludes that not many philosophers have defended the dignity of the human person and the family with as much passion as Leo XIII.

Keywords:   Aeterni Patris, Pope Leo XIII, Christian philosophy, Thomism, faith, reason, human dignity

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