That virtue is important in the ethics of Aquinas is generally acknowledged. So too is the fundamentally theological cast of Aquinas’s virtue ethics. In his reflections on the ethical life, Aquinas is especially concerned with the good willing and doing, made possible by virtue, that brings a person to the God who has established God as the beatifying end of the human person; and, the virtues that are most conducive to that life with God are, radically, the gift of God, due to divine initiative. Although less immediately obvious, Aquinas’s virtue ethics is also thoroughly Christocentric: it is in relation to Christ, who is model and savior, that a human being receives and grows in the virtues, and so moves closer to the beatifying end that is God. This article examines the Christological dimensions of the virtue ethics of Aquinas, suggesting along the way the implications for a modern engagement with that ethics.
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Joseph Wawrykow; Jesus in the Moral Theology of Thomas Aquinas. Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies 1 January 2012; 42 (1): 13–33. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10829636-1473082
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