Sophia 43 (1):3-22 (2004)

I identify the objectionable element in theocracy, not with reliance on God as such, nor with the idea that God might have something to do with morality, but with the anti-human propensity to issue orders without communicating good reasons for them. In medieval discussion prohibitions not based on good reasons attracted the labelmalum quia prohibitum, bad because forbidden and I take this to be the criterion of theocracy in its objectionable form. I examine, in part of the Vatican’s doctrine against contraception, a persistent tendency towards this approach, a tendency incompatible with the tradition of the Church and ultimately incompatible even with the thirteenth century discussion of such issues in the work of Thomas Aquinas.
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DOI 10.1007/BF02782434
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