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Open Access The Intellectual Pedigree of the Virtue of Magnanimity in the Jesuit Constitutions

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The Intellectual Pedigree of the Virtue of Magnanimity in the Jesuit Constitutions

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The article traces the development of the virtue of magnanimity in Aristotle, Cicero, and Thomas Aquinas in order to assess John O’Malley’s claim that Section 728 of the Constitutions of the Society of Jesus represents a paraphrase of section i.66 of Cicero’s On Duties. For Aristotle, the virtue represents individual’s striving for greater virtue and honor. In Cicero, the virtue takes on Stoic characteristics and is tempered with justice and concern for the common good. Thomas Aquinas links the virtue to hope in initiating great enterprises and accomplishing great virtue in accord with God’s will. Ignatius uses magnanimity to indicate a virtue that synthesizes Cicero’s attention to the common good and Aquinas’s notion of hope in God’s providence. Ignatius combines this synthesis with his own inclination to take that which is excellent in others and generously incorporate it into the Society’s work in magnifying God’s glory.

Affiliations: 1: Boston College, frspinal@bc.edu

The article traces the development of the virtue of magnanimity in Aristotle, Cicero, and Thomas Aquinas in order to assess John O’Malley’s claim that Section 728 of the Constitutions of the Society of Jesus represents a paraphrase of section i.66 of Cicero’s On Duties. For Aristotle, the virtue represents individual’s striving for greater virtue and honor. In Cicero, the virtue takes on Stoic characteristics and is tempered with justice and concern for the common good. Thomas Aquinas links the virtue to hope in initiating great enterprises and accomplishing great virtue in accord with God’s will. Ignatius uses magnanimity to indicate a virtue that synthesizes Cicero’s attention to the common good and Aquinas’s notion of hope in God’s providence. Ignatius combines this synthesis with his own inclination to take that which is excellent in others and generously incorporate it into the Society’s work in magnifying God’s glory.

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/content/journals/10.1163/22141332-00203004
2015-12-26
2017-11-21

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