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Title: Neo-scholastic humanism and the re-unification of Europe, 1878-1958
Author: Fimister, Alan Paul
ISNI:       0000 0001 1459 5277
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis explores the determining influence of St Thomas Aquinas and the Papal Social Magisterium and the authors of the Neo-Thomistic period in Catholic philosophy in shaping certain ideas about the international political order and the relations between European states. It is argued that this influence was formative of the most important political actions of Robert Schuman, the French Foreign Minister who launched the European Community of the Six between 1950 and 1953. In the first half of the thesis a new examination of the Papal social Magisterium and of neo-Thomist political thought in this period is offered in which it is shown that the ‘supranational question’, the question of Christian Democracy and the question of the relation between Church and State were always inseparable. Most influentially: it was the contention of Jacques Maritain that the circumstances which determine the application of the positive precepts of the natural law are dependent upon whether or not man is called to a supernatural end in this order of providence. He is; but this is knowable only through revelation. Without this knowledge certain obligations crucial to relations between states and between social classes cannot be known. This leads Maritain to argue that ‘Human Rights’ and ‘Democracy’ as they are understood today have no rational foundation without public revelation. In the second half of the Thesis, by examining Robert Schuman’s published and unpublished writings in this their proper historical and philosophical context it is shown that Schuman knew of and embraced these ideas and initiated the construction of the European community precisely for this reason.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available