Aquinas and King: A Discourse on Civil Disobedience

Aquinas and King: A Discourse on Civil Disobedience

by Charles P. Nemeth

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Aquinas and King: A Discourse on Civil Disobedience 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
LeeCheek on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In this thoughtful and succinct study, Nemeth (California Univ. of Pennsylvania) attempts to synthesize the social, religious, and legal thought of St. Thomas Aquinas and Martin Luther King, Jr., regarding civil disobedience and the need for ¿an objective moral order¿ (p. 90). In the first two chapters, the nature of law is explained, especially the categories of Thomistic legal thinking, as well as the meaning of civil disobedience. Chapters three and four argue for the compatibility of civil disobedience and the Christian life. The ¿radical¿ aspect of the interpretation suggests that an unjust law should not be obeyed. The final chapter proposes areas of agreement between Aquinas and King regarding civil disobedience. The book provides an engaging and lucid introduction to Aquinas on law. Unfortunately, the analysis of King¿s thought is less discerning, and fails to appreciate the overriding influence of Boston Personalism upon his views of social and political life. The author is correct to suggest both Aquinas and King ¿deliver an ethical construct that mirrors human life¿ (p. 102); however, the divergence between Aquinas and King may be greater than the proposed convergence.