Economic Science and St. Thomas Aquinas: On Justice in the Distribution and Exchange of Wealth by Dr. Donald Boland

Economic Science Cover

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This is a book on what is perhaps the most burning and urgent of social issues of our times, namely, the relationship between the science of Economics and Ethics. It demonstrates that the modern view has reversed the true relationship and that it is a mistake of enormous practical significance, not unrelated to the vicissitudes that the modern economy has experienced in the past and, now worldwide, is undergoing at the present time. To regain the proper perspective on the relationship, we need to recover the practical wisdom of two of the geniuses of Ethics in the history of that study: Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas.

About the Author

Donald G Boland Ll. B. Ph. D. is a founding member of the Centre for Catholic Studies Inc. in Sydney Australia and is its current President. He practiced for a number of years as a lawyer having a degree in law from the University of Sydney. Over much the same time, having obtained a doctorate in philosophy from the University of St. Thomas in Rome, he has taught philosophy and law in both Catholic and secular educational institutions, such as the University of Technology, Sydney, the University of Newcastle, the Aquinas Academy, the Centre for Thomistic Studies Inc., now operating under the name of the Centre for Catholic Studies Inc., and various Catholic seminaries, such as those of the Marists and the Vincentians.

His doctoral thesis was on the concepts of utility and value in economics as found in the works of Aristotle and St. Thomas Aquinas. He has maintained a  constant interest in the relation between moral, social and political philosophy and modern Economic Science. He has written numerous articles on this subject and has now condensed them into this book.


Drawing on the wisdom of St. Thomas Aquinas, Dr. Don Boland presents a thoroughly Catholic understanding of economics. In a thought provoking manner, Boland applies the philosophical principles of St. Thomas to modern-day economic conditions. Participating in the penetrating intellectual gaze of St. Thomas, Boland reveals the many flaws and shortcomings of economic theory as it is predominantly taught. – Fr. Peter Samuel Kucer, MSA, author of Political Science from a Catholic Perspective

As I am finishing your book “Economic Science and St. Thomas”, I wanted to thank you for such an insightful overview of St. Thomas’s forgotten contributions to economics, and how these correct the faults of both economic liberalism and Marxist socialism. So many fellow Catholics seem to settle for one or the other, despite works like this, Chesterton’s “Outline of Sanity”, and the papal encyclicals all suggesting there is a “third way”. Your work helped clarify my understanding of St. Thomas, whose questions in II-II of the Summa I first read while at Boston College. – Jonathan

I think the subject is appropriate for the age and is especially timely for the age given Pope Francis’s recent statements on the modern economy — there is great interest but not a lot of teaching on the subject. – Michael