Sin, Suffering, and the Need for Theological Virtues
Jones, David Albert
Christian Bioethics 2006 August; 12(2): 187-198
This article examines the account of the relationship between sin and suffering provided by J. L. A. Garcia in "Sin and Suffering in a Catholic Understanding of Medical Ethics," in this issue. Garcia draws on the (Roman) Catholic tradition and particularly on the thought of Thomas Aquinas, who remains an important resource for Catholic theology. Nevertheless, his interpretation of Thomas is open to criticism, both in terms of omissions and in terms of positive claims. Garcia includes those elements of Thomas that are purely philosophical, such as natural law and acquired virtue, but neglects the theological and infused virtues, the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit, and the beatitudes. These omissions distort his account of the Christian life so that he underplays both the radical problem posed by sin (and suffering), and the radical character of the ultimate solution: redemption in Christ through the grace of the Holy Spirit.
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