Josef Pieper's Hope

1987 Words8 Pages
It would be impossible to access Josef Pieper’s contribution to the anthropological and ontological foundations of human hope without basing the assessment on his book Hope . This essay will firstly address the influence of the theologian St Thomas and the philosopher Aristotle on Piepers thinking and writing. We will also see why Pieper was influenced by Thomas Aquinas. This essay will be based mainly on Pieper’s small book on Hope. In this book, Pieper establishes and explains clearly his thoughts on hope and despair. Josef Pieper’s style of writing is clear and concise. He is very readable for the student interested in Theology and especially those with a keen interest in Thomistic school of theology. It has been said that ’He had so…show more content…
A Dominican, he combined theological principles of faith with the philosophical principles of reason and was the father of the Thomistic school of theology. Thomas Aquinas identified three types of laws: natural, positive and eternal. Natural law prompts man to act in accordance with achieving his goals … eternal law, in the case of rational beings, depends on reason and is put into action through free will, which also works toward the accomplishment of man's spiritual goals. Universities and seminaries use the Summa Theologica as the leading theology textbook. St. Thomas Aquinas’ definition of hope remains extremely easy to grasp, "...a future good, difficult but possible to means of the Divine assistance...on Whose help it leans" (ST II-II, 17.1). Pieper was greatly influenced by St. Thomas Aquinas. ‘"St. Thomas is still my hero," wrote Pieper in the early 1950s. "I think his work is inexhaustible and his affirmative way of looking at the reality of the whole creation seems to me a necessary correction modern Christianity cannot do without.’ Pieper was introduced to the teachings of St. Thomas by a priest in college and later said that having read St. Thomas' Commentary to the Prologue of St. John's Gospel. ‘from that moment the work of St. Thomas has accompanied me through life.’ He later translated this book into German. Pieper brought out a biography of St Thomas during the first year of World War 11 titled Guide to Thomas Aquinas . In this book, he showed. how Aquinas reconciled the pragmatic thought of Aristotle with the Church. At this time, Pieper joined the army and during his time in service a volume of the Summa Theologica was always with
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