Social Justice in Thomas Aquinas


  • Miriam Savarese Pontificia Università della Santa Croce



Thomas Aquinas, Social Doctrine of the Church, Social Justice, General Justice


This study briefly examines the points of contact between the concept of justice and especially of general or legal justice in Thomas Aquinas and the concept of social justice in the Catholic Social Doctrine. The latter is recent and still discussed. Although its introduction in the Magisterium was not intended to mark a break from Aquinas' thought, the term legal seems to be a notable obstacle to recognizing the link. However, the Thomasian notion of general justice in Summa Theologiae II-II matures assuming Aristotle’s but differentiating itself from it: it is general per imperium, strongly related to lex naturalis and more referred to the individual person and his natural inclinations. Consequently, it offers the most elements of congruence with that of social justice. The main reference texts are II-II qq. 57, 58 and 61.





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