Critical Reflection toward the Theological Law of Thomas Aquinas

“A problem emerges when the law does not tell the reality and the truth of a case, however law has become a simulacrum that is digressing laws image, distortion, pseudo and imitation. Simulacrum is formed by a language game and game of image.”Sudjito, professor at GMU, Law Faculty-.

Sudjito stated the above statement in a monthly discussion under the theme “Critical Reflection of the theological law of Thomas Aquinas”. The discussion was hold by the Graduate School of GMU and GMU Graduate School Library. In his explanation, Sudjito said that M. Foucault assessed that the law cannot be separated from power, knowledge and the relationship between them. J.F. Lyotard also observed that law game always appears in society/nation. While W.T. Anderson assessed that law is a social construction of reality that is social engineering which is inherent with falseness.

In the discussion, Sudjito criticized Indonesia laws that full with political interest. The elites use media to influence public image and produce falseness. What was said by the expert about the rule of power in producing imitation of law, it happens also in Indonesia. The politics and economics ratio are very dominant in shifting the theological mind, natural law and conscience. However, emphatically Thomas Aquinas expressed that “we should obey God than human beings”. When there is a law that is arbitrary to the public that is produced from politics and economic interest, hence the law is not legal.

Further, Sudjito explains that the crisis of law and justice tends to be more secular and full of falsehood and falseness, which happened in Indonesia, should be put in its theological condition in order to increase the meaning of life.

Sudjito explained that there are four characteristics of the theology of law. First, theology of law is a set of social norms. Second, theology of law is universal reality. Third, theology of law has normative characteristics and excise in nature sollen and have a priori characteristic. Fourth, theology of law takes a function as conductor, controller and measure toward human behavior. Detailed, Thomas Aquinas categorized law in four categories. First, lex aeterna (law steam from god to arrange the universe). Second, lex naturalis (law contains common guidance and instinct about how to survive, having family, recognize god etc. third, lex divina (law which formulates from lex aeterna that written in Bible (old and new bible). This law is also called God’s law which is unwritten. Forth, lex humana that is positive law or law that is made by human beings.

In answering a question from a respondent about why human beings even realize that God’s law is the best law, for example qhisos law in Kuran, however why does a state like Indonesia not apply the law? Sudjito said that implementation of law in a country depends on who is in command. Frequently, what was written in a holy book could not apply directly. There are many human interests, which hinder man to apply the law. Besides it, Indonesia is not a state that lays on certain religion.

Book discussions talked about Thomas Aquinas thinking is the third discussion from a serial of great thinkers in the world. Two themes before we talked about Plato and Sigmund Freud. TA is a great thinker who lived in the 19 Century and who did not doubt to put god’s law as based thinking of theological law. Like other great thinkers before, Aristotle and Christian teaching influenced TA thinking. According to TA, a state is a shadow of the kingdom of God, which is complete and the power of a state has subordinative characteristics towards God’s power. When the state as a social-theological institution creates a law (lex humana), it may not be beyond the authority given by God.

Before closing the discussion, Sudjono said that the beginning and the end of theology of law is a belief that there is no law that betters God’s law. Hence, Christians should use the Bible as guidance in deciding a case and Muslims should also use the Koran in resolving a problem.