Orthodoxy & Natural Law
I gave a second lecture to Acton University in June entitled “Orthodoxy & Natural Law.” In it, I demonstrated that there is a natural law tradition in the Christian East. It is found in the Scriptures and clearly spoken of in St Justin the Philosopher and Martyr (d. 165) and in St John Chrysostom (d. 407). Moreover, it is clearly laid out and systematically developed in St Maximus the Confessor (d. 662). I look in particular at the Confessor’s To Thalassius 64 and compare Maximus’s exposition of natural law with Thomas Aquinas’s, as found in the Summa theologiae, QQ. 90-94, and find that they agree. I also mention modern work toward an Orthodox natural law theory (particularly in Vladimir Solovyov’s Justification of the Good) and some contemporary discussions about the subject.
I made this presentation to Acton University in Grand Rapids, MI, on 21 June 2013. Dylan Pahman gave a fine summary of my talk the day it was delivered. You can read it here on the Acton PowerBlog.
If you have comments either on the topic or on the lecture, I’d like to hear them. Thanks in advance.