“Thomas Aquinas and the Politics of Moses”

Douglas Kries. "Thomas Aquinas and the Politics of Moses." The Review of Politics 52, no. 1 (2003): 84-104.

In an oft-neglected section of the “Summa Theologiae”, Thomas Aquinas undertakes a detailed, point-by-point comparison of the political regime prescribed by the Mosaic law with the teachings of the then recently translated “Politics” of Aristotle, thereby comparing the perspectives of faith and philosophy on political issues such as rulers, property, citizenship, and families. Because it organizes political affairs in light of the divine, Thomas concludes that the polity of the Old Testament is in fact the answer to the question concerning the best regime. Despite Christianity’s view of the Mosaic law as abrogated, Thomas attempts to salvage the political wisdom of the Old Testament by arguing that the Mosaic regime can still serve as a guide for Christian political thinkers.

The Review of Politics