Beyond Human Nature

The Contemporary Debate over Moral Natural Law



Professor Midgley’s monograph is a carefully reasoned and informative account of the status of natural law thinking in recent Christian theology. As such it will be of interest to theologians, political theorists, and philosophers. The present reviewer, in an article published in the Journal of Politics a decade ago, found much that was rich and suggestive for political theory in the work of such distinguished and creative theologians of our time as Karl Barth, Emil Brunner, and Reinhold Niebuhr, as well as in the writings of various Anglican and Roman Catholic adherents of natural law. Mr. Midgley discusses this literature with thoroughness and perceptiveness and, in addition to taking into account material that has been published in the intervening ten years, also deals extensively with Paul Tillich’s political thought, a topic which this reviewer had purposely omitted. Indeed, the chapter on Tillich and the frequent allusions to him in other parts of the monograph are particularly suggestive and constitute the best part of the book.


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