Friday, September 25, 2009

Pinckaers revisited

Fr. Pinckaers on the origin of the two competing notions of freedom:

In seeking the source of these profound differences in the concept, organization, and teaching of moral theology I was led, by a study at once systematic and historical, to the idea of freedom undergirding the two systems. On the one hand was the freedom of indifference, whihc brought Ockham into opposition with St. Thomas, while its concept went back to two compatriots, Gauthier of Bruges and Henry of Ghent, contemporaries of St. Thomas but outliving him. On the other hand, in Aquinas we find a freedom rooted in the intellect and will according to their natural inclinatiosn to the true and the good, and this is what we call a freedom of ecellence or of perfection.

From "Dominican Moral Theology in the 20th Century," collected in The Pinckaers Redaer: Renewing Thomistic Moral Theology, pp. 80-1.

So there were antecedents to Ockham. Was Ockham really that influential on his contemporaries and successors? That remains my question, as I am not convinced of the causal relationship, even if there are resonances between his account of freedom, and how moral theology was later conceived. And should we attribute this account of freedom to "nominalism" as such? Or is it an inheritance of certain schools of thought? Who is the earliest theologian to understand freedom as the freedom of indifference?

* note that one of the translators or editors decided to turn all instances of the pronoun he to she in a blatant manifestation of academic PCness. Unbelievable--even at CUA press they feel compelled to do this.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sandro Magister, A Newly Published Work by Ratzinger the Theologian. From 54 Years Ago, But Always Relevant

It is his doctoral thesis on Saint Bonaventure and the theology of history. With the backdrop of the Joachim of Fiore''s vision of a new and completely "spiritual" Church. The complete text of the preface written recently by the pope

John Mueller

Over at Front Porch Republic, AML writes:

John Mueller at the EPPC has been working on resurrecting what he calls Augustinian or neo-scholastic economics. The main feature of his work is its focus on “gift,” that essential element that you place so much emphasis on. Some of his articles are posted here:,type.1/pub_list.asp.

Is this an accurate characterization of Mueller's work? What is central to economics, the notion of gift (and the corresponding virtue of gratitude), or some other virtue, such as charity or justice? Is gift to be understood with reference to natural resources and such, or does it include other people as well?

Articles I should read:
Elements of Economic Theory and American Political Economy
Lehrman American Studies Center, Princeton University, 17 June 2008

A Return to Augustinian Economics

Restoring Economic Orthodoxy
Outline of (Neo-) Scholastic Economics

The Return of Natural-Law Economics By John D. Mueller

Other links:
The Claremont Institute - John D. Mueller