CWR: Thomism and Political Liberalism, Part 3 by Joseph G. Trabbic
St. Thomas says that “the whole of political life seems to be ordered to contemplative happiness.” What would a life ordered to divine contemplation look like? And how would politics support it?
A take on this comment.
Is Thomism too rationalist in its conception of eudaimonia? More and more I think that it is unsatisfying, as it is usually presented, and perhaps Pinckaers' modification may not be sufficient. A political life should have sufficient members and organized in such a way that it makes a local ecclesia possible, including the selection of men to become presbyters/episkopos to minister the Holy Mysteries. Through the Holy Mysteries and the Christian life is the ultimate end attained, the encounter of God and man in love, and this Christian life includes prayer and "contemplation." While the
he political community is ordered to human happiness, which according to Christianity is supernatural, a Divine gift of friendship with God, its immediate end is political friendship, and it is on this point primarily that liberalism, which serves the state and statism, differs from Aristotelianism and arguably Thomistic political theology. It is also a first principles that is obscured in Roman Catholic social teaching, written mostly or wholly by men who have no experience living in an authentic political community. It is because of this that RC social doctrine is easily exploited to serve the purposes of the state, and I expect more to be written about obedience to the secular authority in the future.