Rainer Florie: P. Laymann SJ (1574-1635) as Moral Theologist

In the year 1625 the Jesuit priest Paul Laymann, mainly known for his canonistic assessments on the confessional disputes of his time and his opinion on witchcraft, wrote a “Theologia moralis” comprising five volumes. He edited it twice during his lifetime. It was finally published in 1729 and considered a standard work which in 1867 was praised by Matthias J. Scheeben for its “classical calmness and wisdom as well as erudition”. This oeuvre, representing a discipline on its own, marks the beginning of moral theology. Its main distinguishing features are conscience and the scheme of virtues of the Saint Thomas of Aquin. This research project aims to examine the originality of Laymann’s approach within the scholastic casuistics of early modern times and to possibly attribute to him a major influence on the development of moral theology in the times to come.