A journal of academic theology

When Meats Are Like Medicines: Vitoria and Lessius on the Role of Food in the Duty to Preserve Life

Early Modern theologians Francisco de Vitoria and Leonardus Lessius analyzed the nature and limits of the obligation to preserve one’s life through the use of food. Vitoria described the ethical foundations of and the circumstances that might limit such an obligation, while Lessius argued for a virtuous approach to nutrition that eschewed both indifference and excessive concern. Their analyses raise significant questions for contemporary moral theology concerning the scope and difficulties of nutritional ethics.

Scroll to Top