Alasdair MacIntyre – Stoicism, Karl Barth ~ In Hoc Signo Vinces



Indeed whenever the virtues begin to lose their central place, Stoic patterns of thought and action at once reappear. Stoicism remains one of the permanent moral possibilities within the cultures of the West.
That it did not provide the only or even the most important model for those moralists who later were to make the concept of a moral law into the whole of or almost the whole of morality is due to the fact that another, even sterner morality of law, that of Judaism, converted the ancient world. It was of course Judaism in the form of Christianity which thus prevailed. But those such as Nietzsche and the Nazis who have understood Christianity as essentially Judaic have in their hostility perceived a truth which has been disguised from many modern would-be friends of Christianity. For the Torah remains the law uttered by God in the New Testament as in the old; and on the New Testament view Jesus as Messiah is, as the council of Trent emphasized in a decree , lawgiver as well as a mediator to whom we owe obedience.
‘If’, writes Karl Barth, agreeing in this at least for once with Trent, ‘He were not the judge, He would not be the Saviour’ (K’D., IV 1, p. 216)

(Alasdair MacIntyre, After Virtue, p 170)


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