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Natural and Divine Law
Reclaiming the Tradition for Christian Ethics
POD; Published: 12/14/1999
ISBN: 978-0-8028-4697-6
Price: $ 31.50
340 Pages
Trim Size, in inches: 6 x 9
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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.
Journal of Religion
"Porter has given contemporary moral theology an excellent study on natural law, with helpful scholarly apparatus, that will enable her colleagues to engage this area with the nuance it deserves."
National Catholic Bioethics Quarterly
"In this elegant and splendid historical and theological analysis of the scholastic notion of the natural law, Jean Porter has made a distinguished contribution to ethical scholarship."
Lisa Sowle Cahill
"This is a first-class contribution to fundamental ethics. It is elegantly written, historically sensitive, philosophically sophisticated, and theologically nuanced. Jean Porter replies brilliantly to theological varieties of naive essentialism and postmodern relativism as she illumines an alliance between natural law theory and Christian faith that is at once traditional and contemporary."
James M. Gustafson
"Porter answers her basic questions 'What is the scholastic concept of the natural law?' and 'What is its relevance for contemporary Christian ethics?' with the impressively distinctive and nuanced historical, philosophical, and theological sophistication that has marked all of her publications. With resolve she brings well-digested learning under the control of her analysis and argument. This is an important and timely book."
Kenneth R. Melchin
"A very impressive book. I expect it to become a classic in its field; it could shape the course of scholarship in ethics. Jean Porter's careful historical scholarship helps us to understand how natural law ethics emerged and developed in the medieval age, and she guides us toward understanding how a renewal might go forward again in our age."
Stephen J. Pope
"Natural and Divine Law is a tour de force. It will be read, studied, and discussed by everyone with a serious intellectual commitment to moral theology."
Theological Studies
"In the 1980s two works—Albert Jonsen and Stephen Toulmin's Abuse of Casuistry and John Mahoney's The Making of Moral Theology—turned to historical research to engage constructively the agenda of contemporary ethics. Their investigations of the past in an attempt to influence the method, content, and context of today's ethics were highly successful. Now a full generation later, Porter has surpassed these landmark works in her magisterial study of natural law and sets a new standard for research in Christian ethics. . . Subsequent discussion will no doubt develop from this brilliant work. . . But challenging Porter's claims here will require a mastery of historical research and contemporary debate that Porter herself has established as a realizable, necessary and very worthy standard."
Theology (UK)
"Porter's interpretations are judicious, and her willingness to give a fair hearing to the most disconcerting arguments is a model to all who would write at once historically and constructively. In sum, it is an admirable book."