Summer 1969

Page 13

Norbe1路t J. Rigali, S.J.


The Unity of the

Moral Order ln the task of bringing theo/ogy down to ea;rth and the unity of the moral ordeT into sight, it can be of help to theologians to ponder the ,路efiections of their speculative col/eagues on the naht>路e of o1路iyinal sin.

Underlying much of the philosophical and religious thought of the ages is a vision of man's present !ife as in sorne way inferior to a previous form or design of existence. The opening chapters of Genesis and Plato's famous doctrine of the fall of the pre-existing sou! into the body come immediately to mind. For Gregory of N yssa, it was only because God foresaw th at man would sin that he created man as sexual. Otherwise God would have arrangee\ the process of human reproduction in a more angelic fashion. In medieval times Thomas Aquinas in accordance with a long tradition c\istinguished two states of nature in which man has existee\: the state of integral nature of Adam and the state of corruptec\ nature of Ac\am's posterity. In the former state, Aquinas thought, ferocious animais were obedient to man, and the latter was dependent on them not as 125