Biblical Natural Law: A Theocentric and Teleological Approach

Biblical Natural Law: A Theocentric and Teleological Approach

by Matthew Levering
     
 
Natural law theory is controversial today because it presumes that there is a stable 'human nature' that is subject to a 'law'. How do we know that 'human nature' is stable and not ever-evolving? How can we expect 'law' not to constrict human freedom and potential? Furthermore if there is a 'law,' there must be a lawgiver. Matthew Levering argues that natural law

Overview

Natural law theory is controversial today because it presumes that there is a stable 'human nature' that is subject to a 'law'. How do we know that 'human nature' is stable and not ever-evolving? How can we expect 'law' not to constrict human freedom and potential? Furthermore if there is a 'law,' there must be a lawgiver. Matthew Levering argues that natural law theory makes sense only within a broader worldview, and that the Bible sketches both such a persuasive worldview and an account of natural law that offers an exciting portrait of the moral life.

To establish the relevance of biblical readings to the wider philosophical debate on natural law, this study offers an overview of modern natural law theories from Descartes to Nietzsche, which reverse the biblical portrait by placing human beings at the center of the moral universe. Whereas the biblical portrait of natural law is other-directed, ordered to self-giving love, the modern accounts turn inward upon the self. Drawing on the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas, Levering employs theological and philosophical investigation to achieve a contemporary doctrine of natural law that accords with the biblical witness to a loving Creator who draws human beings to share in the divine life. Biblical Natural Law provides both an introduction to natural law theory and a compelling challenge to re-think current scholarship on the topic.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Matthew Levering brings his customary high level of research and insight to an entangled and prickly topic...a clearly thought-out consideration of an important, practical subject that will serve its readers well." - Mark McDowell, Themelios

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199654116
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
Publication date:
07/15/2012
Pages:
270
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)

Meet the Author

Matthew Levering is Professor of Theology at the University of Dayton, Ohio

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >