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Aristotle in Aquinas’s Theology$
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Gilles Emery, O.P. and Matthew Levering

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198749639

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198749639.001.0001

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Aristotle and the Mosaic Law

Aristotle and the Mosaic Law

(p.70) 4 Aristotle and the Mosaic Law
Aristotle in Aquinas’s Theology

Matthew Levering

Oxford University Press

In Aquinas’s treatise on the Old Law in the Prima Secundae of the Summa theologiae, question 100 quotes Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics sixteen times, while question 105 quotes the Politics fourteen times. Aquinas uses Aristotle in question 100 to defend the rationality and scope of the Decalogue. In question 105, Aquinas uses Aristotle to inquire whether the Mosaic law provides Israel with the structures necessary for good political and economic governance. Aquinas aims to show that the Mosaic law is a good and reasonable law, the kind of law that one would want one’s community to have. As a God-given law, the Mosaic law does more than a merely human law would do, but it does not do less.

Keywords:   Decalogue, precepts, community, politics, punishment, private property, slavery, law, Mosaic law, Israel

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