In the classical Greek and Roman world, mercy was thought of as the prerogative of power and authority exercised in mitigating punishment. In this lecture, John O’Callaghan will explain how it was in and through the life of the early Church that mercy became compassionate care for those whom one conceives of as “friends by nature”—any human being whom one encounters as suffering—and consider ways in which our society has returned to the pre-Christian pagan model.
John O'Callaghan is Associate Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Jacques Maritain Center at the University of Notre Dame. In addition to authoring Thomistic Realism and the Linguistic Turn: Toward a More Perfect Form of Existence, he is a past president of the American Catholic Philosophical Association and was appointed a lifetime member of the Pontifical Academy of St. Thomas Aquinas by Pope Benedict XVI.
More information about the talk at the McMahon Aquinas Lecture homepage.
Through the Edna and George McMahon Aquinas Chair in Philosophy, Saint Mary’s College honors the teachings of Saint Thomas Aquinas, reaffirms its commitment to cultivating and sharing the riches of the Catholic tradition, ensures that the contributions of the Church’s Common Doctor will remain well known among new generations of students, and aspires to help Saint Mary’s women develop their gifts of faith, knowledge, and wisdom in preparation for service as leaders in their communities and throughout the world.