Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Theology (Thesis)

Schools and Centres

Philosophy and Theology

First Supervisor

Peter Black


The virtues are central to our understanding of character-based morality and in the Aristotelian and Thomistic tradition at least, prudence is considered the first of all cardinal virtues – vital and necessary to the virtuous life. Similarly, the claim of this study is that prudence is a central feature of Proverbial wisdom and, as such, the book of Proverbs is a useful biblical source to allow Scripture to enrich our understanding of the virtuous life and of prudence in particular. In this vein, this thesis engages in a correlative study between an understanding of prudence informed by Thomistic thought and prudential wisdom found in the book of Proverbs. Part of this correlative study also takes in the broader context of the virtuous moral life, including notions such as the natural law and the virtues in general. This study highlights that wisdom as portrayed in the book of Proverbs can inform contemporary theological understandings of prudence, especially those with their roots in the Thomistic tradition. Further, the Thomistic understanding of the virtue of prudence provides a useful heuristic approach to interpreting Proverbs.

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