Religion and Ethics According to Thomas Aquinas Cover Image

Religija ir etika pagal Tomą Akvinietį
Religion and Ethics According to Thomas Aquinas

Author(s): Povilas Aleksandravičius
Subject(s): Philosophy
Published by: Vilnius Gediminas Technical University
Keywords: being; worship; desire; other; synderesis; holiness.

Summary/Abstract: The aim of this paper is to show a common origin of religion and ethics in the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas. The concept of religion is closely related to metaphysics of being because it expresses the experience of a person facing the Source of being (God as Creator, actus essendi). By applying the aristotelian concept of justice and, at the same time, by pointing out its insufficiency to express the essence of religion, saint Thomas reveals the phenomenon of simultaneously metaphysical and religious desire. God is known as the Unknown, as absolutely Different, to which human being aspires. The structure of that phenomenon coincides with the structure of the origin of ethics: aspiration to the Source of being, imperceptible by the mind, forms the roots of natural good in the being of a person. With the help of synderese, which is one of the fundamental notions of ethics, saint Thomas clarifies the link that human being constantly maintains with his own ontological roots. The phenomenon of moral conscience, which links the deep heart of human being with the psychological level, is used as a basis to establish morals. Thus, common origin of religion and ethics occurs in the simultaneous real experience of the Source of being and of Good, experience which grants human being a particular purity called holiness.

  • Issue Year: 16/2008
  • Issue No: 3
  • Page Range: 14-22
  • Page Count: 9
  • Language: Lithuanian