Political Friendship in Saint Thomas Aquinas: Between Justice and Mercy

The political philosophy of St. Thomas integrates the inclination to the “union” or “friendship” in a more perfect vocation, which is the result of the virtue of Charity. In the Thomistic corpus, Charity is the superior supernatural virtue, the form of any other virtue. But, also charity means friendship. This intimate connection or identity between charity and friendship, highlights its social and political importance. From this new supernatural dimension, the Aristotelian-Roman conception of justice will be perfected by Charity and its fruits, such as peace and the virtue of mercy. Only under this perspective, life arises in the political community and the unity desired by humans ensues.