Besides describing the nobility and duties of a king, in this work St. Thomas lays down more generally the principles that ought to be active in any government. He touches on the need for government, its purpose, the source of authority, the possibility of revolution. This work coincides nicely with the papal encyclicals on government. Although neither a novel nor a biography, this letter by the Church’s greatest theologian (to a Catholic king who requested the saint to explain to him his new duties), is not only an excellent and easy introduction to Saint Thomas’ writings, but is also an important explanation of the correct view of government itself, kingship, the duties of any ruler, and the duties of his citizens. This work refutes today’s modern spirit which takes for granted that democracies / republics are the “only way to go”, that governments are “a necessary evil”, and the idea that citizens can revolt when they see fit. This mini-course goes very well with Pope Leo XIII’s Immortale Dei or A Heart for Europe.
Average week length:
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