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BOOK REVIEWS 279 given in the same book, it at least arouses the curiosity of the reader. And the question being asked, there is the possibility that an answer may be forthcoming from some quarter. Finally, Mr. Bryar has uncovered a number of real difficulties in explaining the prima via to the modern mind. It is to be hoped that his work will stimulate others to consider in detail these barriers that isolate St. Thomas from a large segment of our university people. Such a sequel, while possibly not all that Mr. Bryar had hoped for, would yet register for him a worthwhile contribution to modern Thomism. Dominican House of Studies, Washington, D. C. AuGusTINE WALLACE, O.P. Psychiatry and Catholicism, by JAMES H. VANDERVELT, 0. F. M. and RoBERT P. 0DENWALD, M.D., New York: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 195Q. Pp. 442, $6.00. The Foreword states: " there has been a long-felt need of a book that would present a scientifically sane integration of psychiatry and Christianity ." The present work certainly does not satisfy this need completely. It is, however, a step in the right direction; and should serve to allay the antagonism harbored by some Catholics towards psychiatry. The work is intended for the educated layman as wen. as for the priest, and its object is to give a brief, simple exposition of modern psychiatry, to weigh psychiatric theories and techniques in the light of Catholic moral te,aching, and to propose some points of practical value to the reader. The two initial chapters treat respectively of "Person and Personality," and "The Moral Law, Conscience, and Responsibility." The first deals briefly with the philosophy of the human person, and discusses the psychology of personality. The second chapter is devoted to a presentation of theory in its essential points. As the title indicates, all is centred around the notions of law and conscience. The _authors do not show how the passage from external law to the internal forum, the forum of conscience, is to be effected; and thus they exclude any consideration, however brief, of the moral or practical syllogism. There is a gap between the objective standards of the law and the internal standard of conscience which ought to be filled with a treatment of the moral act, and with a more satisfactory treatment of the natural law..There is, unfortunately, no consideration of the moral life as a dynamic seeking of happiness, nor of the " good life " as distinct from that of mere obedience to law. The place of love in the moral life (whether natural or supernatural) is not mentioned. The chapter is an example of the rather unhappy stress on law in so many modem 280 BOOK REVIEWS manuals of moral theology. In what is called "an outline of the fundamentals of the Catholic system of morality " (p. 19) only the law is discussed, the eternal law, the natural law, and positive law. Actually the treatise on law is but a part of the " Catholic moral system " and it is necessary to see this treatise in due proportion to the other and more fundamental sections. This point is of no little practical importance in treating of the relations of Catholic morality to psychiatry since the conflicts of the emotionally disturbed often center around the problem of authority. Moral responsibility itself is seen as a matter of obedience to law rather than as a means to happiness: " In brief, moral responsibility is a man's capacity of moral guilt." (p. ~6) For the Thomist, moral responsibility as a capacity for gnilt certainly is not in any way a true definition of moral responsibility. The end of the moral life is the divinization of man. The moral life Is concerned with the ideal of man, with what he must be, not primarily with what he is must do or not do. The very heart of Thomistic moral theory is that love of the good, as a living interior law, impels man to seek God. Freedom is considered positively as a means to God, as a capability, not so much of guilt, but of good. A proper orientation in considering the moral life of man is of...

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Additional Information

ISSN
2473-3725
Print ISSN
0040-6325
Pages
pp. 279-282
Launched on MUSE
2017-06-15
Open Access
No
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