Natural Law, Freedom, and Tradition: A Catholic Perspective on Mediating Between Liberty and Fraternity

  • Jason A. Heron


In this chapter, Jason A. Heron asks whether a Thomistic perspective on the natural law is of any use to ethicists, religious and secular, interested in both normativity and contextualization. Heron draws on the work of Thomas Aquinas, Vincent W. Lloyd, Richard Rodriguez, Michael Baxter, and Cristina Traina. The chapter argues that the Thomistic natural law tradition should be a critical dialogue partner in the conversation about moral normativity and social context. The natural law tradition provides ethicists with an effective way of speaking about the human capacity to speak in a variety of subsidiary moral registers indexed to the various social contexts in which humans act. The chapter contends that this subsidiary structuring of moral speech enables human communities to navigate the tensions of normative moral claims and context-dependent descriptions of choice and action.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jason A. Heron
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Religious StudiesMount Marty CollegeYanktonUSA

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