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The True Wealth of NationsCatholic Social Thought and Economic Life$
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Daniel Finn

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199739813

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199739813.001.0001

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From a Theological Frame to a Secular Frame

From a Theological Frame to a Secular Frame

How Historical Context Shapes Our Understanding of the Principles of Catholic Social Thought

Chapter:
(p.165) 7 From a Theological Frame to a Secular Frame
Source:
The True Wealth of Nations
Author(s):

Mary L. Hirschfeld

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199739813.003.0008

This chapter examines the fundamental hypothesis of the True Wealth of Nations project—that the economic and cultural criteria identified in the tradition of Catholic social thought provide an effective path to sustainable prosperity for all—from a Thomistic perspective. After pointing out some key features of Thomas's theological framework and contrasting it with the modern day more secular perspective, it focuses on three issues. First, it discusses how Thomas understood the end of this-worldly (earthly) human flourishing in relationship to our final end, which for Thomas lies in the beatific vision. Second, turning to the question of how prosperity is understood, it discusses Thomas's understanding of the relationship between material well-being and virtue, which Thomas identifies with human flourishing. Third, it examines Thomas's understanding of material well-being in itself. The chapter concludes with an assessment of the degree to which we could or should incorporate Thomas' s perspective.

Keywords:   Catholic social thought, True Wealth of Nations, Thomas Aquinas, human flourishing, prosperity, material well-being

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