Natural Law and Moral Inquiry

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296 pp., 6 x 9
Paperback
ISBN: 9780878406746 (0878406743)


March 1998
LC: 97-37975

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Natural Law and Moral Inquiry
Ethics, Metaphysics, and Politics in the Thought of Germain Grisez
Robert P. George

Germain Grisez has been a leading voice in moral philosophy and theology since the Second Vatican Council. In this book, such major thinkers as John Finnis, Ralph McInerny, and William E. May consider issues in ethics, metaphysics, and politics that have been central to Grisez's work.

Grisez's reconsideration of the philosophical foundations of Christian moral teaching, seeking to eliminate both legalistic interpretation and theological dissent, has won the support of a number of leading Catholic moralists. In the past decade, moreover, many philosophers outside of Catholicism have weighed carefully Grisez's alternatives to theories that have long dominated secular moral philosophy.

This book presents a broad spectrum of viewpoints on subjects ranging from contraception to capital punishment and considers such controversies as the scriptural basis of Grisez's work his interpretations of Aquinas, and his new natural law theory. The collection includes not only contributions from Grisez's supporters but also from critics of his thought, from proportionalist Edward Collins Vacek, SJ, to the neo-Thomist Ralph McInerny. A reply by Grisez, written with Joseph M. Boyle Jr., addresses the issues and viewpoints expressed, while an afterword by Russell Shaw reviews Grisez's pioneering work and conveys a vivid sense of the philosopher's personality.

As Grisez's influence grows, this volume will serve as an important touchstone on his contributions to moral and political philosophy and theology.


Reviews
"This volume of papers admirably succeeds in revealing the subtlety, power, and depth of Grisez's moral thoeolgy."—National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly



"At a time when natural law thinking is engaging thinkers from a variety of traditions, Germain Grisez has developed the most comprehensive and intellecturlally rigorous natural law theory of any Catholic thinker today. Robert George is certainly Grisez's most perceptive philosophical interpreter. This book will bring Grisez's great achievement, both in theology and philosophy, to the attention of the wider readership it richly deserves."—David Novak, J. Richard and Dorothy Shiff Chair of Jewish Studies, University of Toronto