Mediation and Saint Thomas Aquinas

  • Michael J. Coughlan


An understanding of some of the views of Thomas Aquinas is essential in order to come to an appreciation of the current stance of the Catholic Church on questions concerning in vitro fertilisation, embryo research, and ethical issues in general, and their perceived implications for civil legislation. This arises first because of the status of Thomas in ‘the mind of the Church’; secondly because the salvation-through-mediation theme (enlarged upon in what follows), which was nurtured by, if not rooted in, Thomas’ Christianising of Aristotelianism, has been adopted by the Church as its own; and thirdly, because Catholic moral philosophy has become natural law moral philosophy, that is, the prevailing approach to moral issues is characteristically Thomistic, and the Thomistic approach is claimed to be universally applicable.


Human Embryo Human Person Embryo Research Individual Soul Bodily Passion 
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  1. 2.
    Cf. Maclntyre, A. A Short History of Ethics, (London, 1971 ) p. 122.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    See, e.g., Nelson Pike, God and Timelessness (London, 1970 ).Google Scholar
  3. 5.
    Cronin, M., ‘The Moral Philosophy of St. Thomas’ in C. Lattey (ed.), St. Thomas Aquinas (Cambridge, 1925 ) p. 132.Google Scholar
  4. 14.
    Gustafson, J. M., Protestant and Roman Catholic Ethics (London, 1979 ) p. 48.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Michael J. Coughlan 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael J. Coughlan
    • 1
  1. 1.Saint David’s University CollegeLampeterUK

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