ISSN 2409-5834

The distant echo of Aristotle in bioethics today – and how to reduce the Noise

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Corinna Delkeskamp-Hayes


“The philosopher,” as Aquinas called Aristotle, owes his continued cultural impact to Christians’ appreciation of their pagan predecessors. This article applies David Bradshaw’s analysis of the reception of Aristotle in the Christian East and West to bioethics. It explores how the assimilation of Aristotle’s divine “energia” into the Pauline vision of a Divine-human synergy in the East informs St. Basil’s teaching about the Christian approach to medicine. It describes how the Western rendering of that term conceptually separated the divine transcendence from the created order. Deification by grace thus was replaced by moral orientation through a formally Christianized “natural law.” Some recent bioethical examples of such invocation confirm Bradshaw’s judgment that Aristotelian philosophy further alienated the West from noetic experience, thus secularizing its moral life

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