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C H A P T E R T E N Parallel Projects Alasdair MacIntyre’s Virtue Ethics, Thirteenth-Century Pastoral Theology (Leonard Boyle, O.P.), and Thomistic Moral Theology (Servais Pinckaers, O.P.) J A M E S M C E V O Y The advocacy of virtue ethics by Alasdair MacIntyre has given this brand of moral philosophy a distinctive place among the moral theories currently taught in departments of philosophy throughout the Englishspeaking world; indeed it must be acknowledged that his intellectual efforts have given virtue ethics a prominence in present-day discussion such as it has not enjoyed, save within Thomistic and neoscholastic circles , for a very long time. The modest aim of this study is to explore two parallel research paths undertaken by contemporary thinkers, in the hope of throwing some light upon MacIntyre’s enterprise, bringing out its originality, and pointing to its wider intellectual relationships. The first of these figures was Leonard Boyle, O.P., the historian of the many treatises on the virtues and vices (De virtutibus et vitiis) that circulated after approximately AD 1200, and the second was another Dominican, Servais Pinckaers, the widely published theological interpreter of the moral thought of St. Thomas Aquinas. The present writer had the good fortune to know both men. 244 Leonard Boyle, O.P. Life Leonard Eugene Boyle was born on November 13, 1923, at Ballintra, County Donegal, the son of Owen Boyle and Margaret O’Donnell of Burtonport. Because of his parents’ early deaths the child attended school in Counties Westmeath and Cork, being placed under the guardianship of his brother, a Garda Síochána. For his secondary schooling he went to the Cistercians at Mount Melleray, County Waterford. Leonard entered the Dominican Order at Cork on September 4, 1943. The following year he was sent to Blackfriars, Oxford, to study theology. There he came under the academic influence of the well-remembered Daniel Angelo Callus, a Maltese Dominican priest whose research concerned principally the thought of Aquinas and his Dominican contemporaries, including members of the English Province who taught at early Oxford.1 Leonard’s first scholarly edition of a Latin text was to be completed under the supervision of Father Callus, as a thesis for the degree of Lector of Theology (S.T.Lr.) within the order; he was awarded the degree in 1951. By that time he had already been ordained (December 1949). In 1951 the young priest began work at Oxford for a B. Litt. degree, but his research assumed the proportions of a D. Phil. thesis, and he was indeed awarded that degree in 1956. Between 1955 and 1957 he was employed by the National Library of Ireland and the Public Record Office, London, on research work at the Vatican Archives for the Calendar of Papal Registers. He then lectured at the Angelicum and Lateran Universities in Rome, while extending his knowledge of the Vatican Archives.2 In 1961 he became visiting professor of Latin palaeography at the Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies (PIMS), Toronto. That initial move to Canada was to determine the shape of the following twenty-five years, for in 1966 he acceded to a full chair at the same institute. He was to reside at Toronto, though making numerous journeys to libraries and visits to conferences, up to the time of his appointment in 1984 as prefect of the Vatican Library. He was the recipient of a long series of distinctions and awards, including many honorary degrees.3 Leonard Boyle combined academic training and activity in Europe (Oxford, Rome) and North America Parallel Projects 245 (principally Toronto) in a way that bridged Old World and New World interests and approaches to scholarship. This intellectual straddling of the two continents recalls the great figure of Étienne Gilson, the Parisbased founder of PIMS. The effort involved in crossing and recrossing the Atlantic, moving from Rome to Toronto and back again, enriched his work as it marked his conversation, so rich in anecdotes and personalities . His early Dominican training in philosophical and theological ideas combined with the overlay of the historian’s formation to make him an intellectual historian of exceptional breadth. Father Leonard died in his sleep on October 25, 1999. With the special permission of the Ministry of Culture in Rome his remains were buried in the crypt of San Clemente, where he had spent much time as a younger man pursuing his hobby of archaeology in the neighborhood of the burial...


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