New attempts to revive Ukrainian neo-Thomism through inspiration-by-translations. Reflections on the book Krąmpiec, M. (2020). Why evil? Kyiv: Kairos.
Keywords:history of moral theology, neo-Augustinianism, limitednesses of Neo-thomistic metaphysics
One of the unsolved problems for the historical and philosophical thought of Ukraine is the lack of reflection on the phenomenon of Ukrainian neo-Thomism. Today, there has not been reconstructed the history of this trend, which had been actively developing in the interwar Western Ukraine since the time of socio-ethical letters by Andrei Sheptytsky in the early XX century, gained new connotations in the diaspora from 1940s to 1990s and acquired new forms in Roman Catholic thought in Ukraine at the beginning of the XXI century. Moreover, a comprehensive historical and philosophical assessment of the achievements and shortcomings of Ukrainian neo-Thomism at different stages of its development has not been made.
Meanwhile, Ukrainian neo-Thomism is experiencing a crisis, which it is trying to overcome by translating controversial works devoted mainly to the history of moral theology. The main feature of the proposed works is the oscillation between the need to recognize the presence of a person’s spiritual-intellectual and moral-volitional intuitions and the reluctance to recognize it openly, because it would be contrary to the very principles of Thomism. Modern Ukrainian neo-Thomism inherits this contradiction, and therefore the choice of classic books for translation reflects the dialectic of the struggle of different tendencies, which objectively cannot contribute to the legitimization of neo-Thomism in the Ukrainian philosophical discourse.
Especially significant in this regard was the translation of the book by the classic of Polish neo-Thomism Mieczysław Krąmpiec “Why evil?”, because this monograph shows the contradiction of neo-Thomistic thought in the key issues about the possibility of person’s moral intuition, moral responsibility and dignity. The very refusal of Krąmpiec to recognize the existence of a person’s spiritual-intellectual and moral-volitional intuitions, despite all the prerequisites for such recognition, leads the monograph Why evil? to failure and to inability to answer the question stated in the title of the monograph. All this justifies that in the time of Pope Benedict XVI and Pope Francis moral theology and social doctrine moved to neo-Augustinianism, which unequivocally recognizes that the person has spiritual-intellectual and moral-volitional intuitions.
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