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Natural Law

  • 50 Questions on the Natural Law

    "Aquinas places human law in the framework of the plan of God, who wants man to achieve eternal happiness by choosing to love and obey him. Human law and the state exist to promote the common good and thus to help manage achieve his end of eternal happiness with God. The state is not a necessary evil, nor is it a mere contrivance of the majority or of a mythical social compact. Rather, it is good because it is an integral part of God's plan, with the objective of promoting the common good. But the state is not an end in itself; it is rather an instrument to help man achieve his end. Although Saint Thomas did not experience the modern state, his discussion of the human law provides principles to govern the state in any age. Aquinas directly contradicts the secularist and the positivist by grounding his theory of law on the reality of God. Only in this way can human law be limited. Otherwise, if God is not recognized, the state becomes god."

    ~ Charles Rice
    From "Question 12. Am I bound in conscience to obey the human law? What if that law is unjust?"
    of 50 Questions on the Natural Law: What It Is and Why We Need It

     


    Course Plan Week 4 of St. Thomas Aquinas Academy's GOVT & NATURAL LAW A (GNL-A)

     

     

  • GOVT & NATURAL LAW A (GNL-A)

    Course Registration No. GOV-116

    COURSE OVERVIEW


    An introductory U.S. Government course, students learn about great statesmen who influenced the course of U.S. history by applying principles from America’s founding documents: the Declaration of Independence and U. S. Constitution.  Students also learn the importance of principles of good government and their proper implementation, or lack thereof, during times of racial inequality, attacks on the family and human dignity. During this semester course, Declaration Statesmanship will be the guiding text supplemented by Charles Rice’s indispensable work, 50 Questions on Natural Law.
           Advanced, Honors Track students also take a deeper look at the judicial branch of government through readings and assignments in Sandra O’Connor’s book The Majesty of Law. This text provides insight into the role of the U.S. Supreme Court and several of its landmark cases.   
           Government and Natural Law is a superb capstone course for St. Thomas Aquinas Academy’s Liberal Arts program. The works of ancient statesmen, philosophers, classical authors and playwrights, saints and Church Doctors, are more than just interesting studies--their wisdom is essential for us if we are to discern and defend right answers to critical questions facing Americans today. What answers ought we to give to the following: What is justice? What is law? What is the proper role of man-made law and government? Why does the Catholic Church teach what it does about human dignity, equality, Communism, abortion, IVF, euthanasia, and family life? Only those with a sound education can properly address the myriad of political, legal, ethical and social issues facing Americans in today’s declining culture. Only those with a sound education can properly exercise their responsibilities as a citizen in a democratic society. St. Thomas Aquinas Academy designed the Government and Natural Law course to help fill that educational need.

     

     

    BOOKS AND MATERIALS


    Declaration Statesmanship: A Course in American Government: Student Book

    • Author: Richard Ferrier and Andrew Seeley
    • Publisher/Copyright: : CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014. .
    • ISBN: 1497537967        978-1497537965
    • Supplier: Retail or Amazon.com

    This is one part of a three book set that includes Student Text, Selected Readings Text, and Parent/Teacher’s Manual -- you will need all three pieces. 268 pages; 4th edition.

     

    Declaration Statesmanship: Teacher's Manual

    • Author: Richard Ferrier and Andrew Seeley
    • Publisher/Copyright: : CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014. .
    • ISBN: 1497538068        978-1497538061
    • Supplier: Retail or Amazon.com

    The Parent/Teacher’s Manual includes detailed lesson plans, answers to review questions, paper topics, quizzes, and tests. 120 pages; 4th edition.

     

    Declaration Statesmanship: Book of Readings: Supplementary Readings

    • Author: Richard Ferrier and Andrew Seeley
    • Publisher/Copyright: : CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2014. .
    • ISBN: 1497538165        978-1497538160
    • Supplier: Retail or Amazon.com

    300 pages; 4th edition

     

    50 Questions on the Natural Law: What It Is and Why We Need It

    • Author: Charles E. Rice
    • Publisher/Copyright: Ignatius Press, 1999: Ignatius Press, 1999. Print.
    • ISBN: 0898707501        978-0898707502
    • Supplier: Retail or Amazon.com

    411 pages.

     

    Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2nd Edition

    • Author: U.S. Catholic Church
    • Publisher/Copyright: 2nd ed.: USCCB Communications, 2000. Print.
    • ISBN: 1574551108        978-1574551105
    • Supplier: Retail or Amazon.com

    920 pages. Any edition from any publisher will do. It is standard practice to reference the Catechism as "CCC" in print. The STAA course plans follow this practice.

     

    OPTIONAL RESOURCE

    Majesty of the Law: Reflections of a Supreme Court Justice

    • Author: Sandra Day O’Connor
    • Publisher/Copyright: : Random House Trade Paperbacks, 2004. Print.
    • ISBN: 081296747X        978-0812967470
    • Supplier: Retail or Amazon.com

    352 pages.

     

     

    STAA Study Guide: European Studies II, A Track (Research Papers • Rhetoric IIA • Moral Apologetics A • European History IIA • Dante • Govt & Natural Law)

    • Author: St. Thomas Aquinas Academy
    • Publisher/Copyright: Reno: St. Thomas Aquinas Academy, 2020. Print.
    • ISBN: n/a        
    • Supplier: Lulu.com

    Detailed weekly plans, assignment details, and grading support for the high school courses can be found in the STAA Study Guides. Each high school student will need three study guides: one for each semester of the academic year and a science course plan booklet. Direct links for ordering the study guides will be emailed to you after you submit the Course Registration forms.