The Nature We Ought to Love: A Thomistic Perspective on the Moral Evils of Racism

The topic of racism is extremely complex, and it can be a challenge to figure out how all the relevant dynamics fit into traditional Catholic ethical theories, such as the theory of Thomistic ethics that has its roots in the thought of Thomas Aquinas. This lecture aims to develop a preliminary sketch of a properly Thomistic account of some of the various kinds of evils that are brought under the header of racism today. It argues that the thought of Aquinas can contribute some important and nuanced analyses of racism in terms of different kinds of harms to individuals and communities. For Thomistic ethics, a proper moral response to these harms derives from our positive obligations towards what Aquinas calls “a nature we ought to love.”


Thérèse Cory, John and Jean Oesterle Associate Professor of Thomistic Studies at Notre Dame, Member of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas, and Faculty Fellow of the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture.

Cosponsored by Notre Dame Law School, the College of Arts and Letters, the Department of Philosophy, and the Jacques Maritain Center.

September 23, 2023

Religion and PhilosophyCollege of Arts and LettersCommon Goodde Nicola Center for Ethics and Culturedigest208personsRaceRacismThomas AquinasthomismUniversity of Notre Dame