St. Thomas Aquinas on Politics and Ethics contains translations of carefully chosen and central selections from The Summa Against the Gentiles, On Kingship or The Governance of Rulers, and The Summa of Theology.
The selections not only include St. Thomas Aquinas’s views on government, law, war, property, and sexual ethics, but also provide the theological, epistemological, and psychological background for his political and ethical thought, including the Five Proofs on the existence of God and Aquinas’s theories of knowledge, the soul, the purpose of man, and the order of the universe. Throughout the book, footnotes explain technical terms and historical, biblical, and classical references.
"Backgrounds and Sources" follows the text, with selections from the writings of Aristotle, St. Augustine, and Dionysius the Areopagite.
"Interpretations" traces Aquinas’s influence on medieval thought, on Roman Catholicism during the Renaissance, on early modern political thought (Richard Hooker and Francisco Suarez), on nineteenth-and twentieth-century papal social thought, and on contemporary Christian Democratic political parties in Europe and Latin America.
The volume concludes with "Contemporary Problems in Thomistic Ethics", which contains eight analyses of the influence of Aquinas's thought on modern debates on war, contraception, and abortion.
A Selected Bibliography is included.
About the Author
Paul E. Sigmund is Professor of Politics at Princeton University. He is the author of numerous books, including The Ideologies of the Developing Nations, Natural Law in Political Thought, The Overthrow of Allende and the Politics of Chile, and Liberation Theology at the Crossroads. He is the translator and editor of the Norton Critical Edition of St. Thomas Aquinas on Politics and Ethics.