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Natural and Divine Law

Jean Porter (Eerdmans: August 1999), 344 pages.

Though the concept of natural law took center stage during the Middle Ages, the theological aspects of this august intellectual tradition have been largely forgotten by the modern church. In this book ethicist Jean Porter shows the continuing significance of the natural law tradition for Christian ethics. Based on a careful analysis of natural law as it emerged in the medieval period, Porter’s work explores several important scholastic theologians and canonists whose writings are not only worthy of study in their own right but also make important contributions to moral reflection today. ~ Product Description

Table of Contents

  • Chapter 1: Framing the Question
    • Recent work on the natural law
    • The social context: The consolidation of European society
    • The intellectual context: Scholasticism
    • The scholastic concept of the natural law
  • Chapter 2: Nature and Reason
    • The scholastic concept of the natural law: Sources and context
    • The starting point: Nature and convention
    • Nature and reason
    • Medieval naturalism and its implications today
  • Chapter 3: Scripture and the Natural Law
    • Scripture and the natural law: Theological antecedents
    • Natural law and Scripture in scholastic thought
    • Natural law and moral norms
    • The natural law as law
    • The theological significance of the natural law
  • Chapter 4: Marriage and Sexual Ethics
    • Sexuality in the scholastic concept of the natural law
    • Marriage in scholastic thought
    • Marriage, women and society: Legal and moral views
    • Implications for contemporary Christian ethics
    • Some specific issues
  • Chapter 5: Social Ethics
    • From natural inclination to social practice
    • The ideal of equality and its social expressions
    • From natural law to natural rights
    • Two hard cases: Servitude and social persecution
    • Towards a theology of social life
  • Appendix
    • Conclusion:
    • Bibliography
    • Index