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Law - Rule of Law

(2,025 words)

Author(s): José-María Diez Alegría
Part of Law: 1. Biblical 2. Theology and Moral Theology 3. Rule of Law 4. Philosophy of Law 1. The fact of law. The term “law” refers to a historical and cultural reality that is found to exist in human society. Law in this sense is positive law. The Latin word ius is a homonym, designating a number of different things (rules of public authority that are in force at a given moment, the place where justice is administered, private juridical acts of binding force, ownership which is juridically protected — what we now call subjective rights). All these things are closely akin. In each case the word ius

Justice - Moral Theology

(2,913 words)

Author(s): José María Díez-Alegría
Part of Justice: 1. Scripture 2. Moral Theology The notion of justice is fundamental to the human spirit. All men have some sort of aspiration, at least obscurely, towards justice. From the beginning, the notion of justice has been attached to the sphere of religion, as may be seen in Plato’s Gorgias, 507 b, and Republic, I, 331 a. In the most ancient texts of the Bible, the first monuments of supernatural revelation, there is also a bond between justice and religion (in the covenant by which Israel was bound to Yahweh). “Abraham believed the Lord; …

Rights of Man

(2,079 words)

Author(s): José Maria Diez-Alegría
1. Concept and historical background. The rights of man are understood as the universal, inviolable and inalienable rights which are due to him as a rational being endowed with free will. They are his “by nature”, since he is a person. They safeguard the dignity of man against State and society, and were first expressly formulated in this sense in the “Virginia Bill of Rights”, 12 June 1776, and the American Declaration of Independence, 4 July 1776. By way of the “Déclaration des droits de l’homme et du citoyen” of the French National…

Society - Common Good

(1,709 words)

Author(s): José Maria Diez-Alegria
Part of Society: 1. The Social Group 2. Fellowship 3. Common Good 4. Public Opinion 1. The Problem Today. The problem of the common good has been the subject of lively debate in recent years among students of Christian social doctrine. The debate bore on the relations between person and society (or more generally, between the individual and the fellowship of which he is a member), and on the relation between the good of the individual and the general good. One group defended on principle the priority of the common good ( communitarians), while others ( personalists) maintained equally forc…