Person and Conscience: Augustinian Strands in John-Paul's Ethics

Keywords: Augustinianism; Karol Wojtyła (John-Paul II); Max Scheler; person; conscience; Henri de Lubac; Gaudium et Spes; self-transcendence


The wide appeal of Veritatis Splendor lay in its Augustinianism. Two Augustinian themes predominate in Wojtyła's thought, one derived from Max Scheler, the other from Henri de Lubac and the nouvelle théologie. The unity of being and the good is the basis on which he can reassert the ontological integrity of the personal agent. The priority of divine grace in leading the human agent to moral fulfilment directs his thinking about the conscience as an inner dialogue with God. All moral self-awareness depends on that encounter, while the continuity of the person makes possible the accrual of moral experience.

Author Biography

Oliver O'Donovan, University of St. Andrews

Oliver O'Donovan − an Anglican clergyman and professor of moral theology at the University of Oxford (1982-2006) and the University of Edinburgh (2006-2013), an Honorary Professor of the University of St. Andrews, a visiting professor among others at the universities of Durham, Cambridge, Maynooth, Hong Kong and the Gregorian University, a Fellow of the British Academy


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