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Christian conception of Natural Law and the moral theory of the State.

Osuagwu, Eze Simpson (2021): Christian conception of Natural Law and the moral theory of the State.

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Abstract

This paper argues that the Christian conception of Natural law is indispensable for the understanding of a coherent moral theory of the State. The paper discusses the Christian conception of Natural Law with a view to understanding a philosophical link with the moral theory of the State. The paper reveals that from the classical era of Plato and Aristotle through the medieval times of Thomas Aquinas, Natural law has been conceived to be divine. However, following the protestant reforms of Martin Luther and Richard Hooker through the early modern natural law theorists inclined to the social contract, the concept of natural law has been interpreted to mean a theory that runs contrary to the existence of written laws and as such needs to be modified to be accepted as a code of conduct for society. The paper concludes that the perceived influence of Natural Law on positive or coded law is rooted in conscience, which as Thomas Aquinas pointed out is based on reason or synderesis.

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