Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Principles of Moral Theology

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Moral Theology

DESCRIPTION The Christian paradox that one can gain life by losing it is studied in the context of the modern emphasis on self-determination and the post-modern critique of master stories as vehicles of meaning.
Recognition of the right to determine one's life and to be different can be understood as a corrective of the concept, characteristic of the Christian Tradition, of the individual as "part" of a "whole". The acting person, however, has his own history which is itself part of the history of other persons and groups and, for the Christian, part of the history of salvation and, therefore, actions are meaningful only when they are seen in this wider context. The quest for a meaningful life presupposes interpretative frameworks (Charles Taylor) and can only be maintained through the exercise of appropriate virtues.

The second part studies in what sense a normative ethics complements a Christian ethics of virtue.
While the virtues sustain the search for a "good" life, norms in both general and Christian ethics identify the types of action that are incompatible with this search. The justification of norms implies reference to moral principles which in Christian ethics are summed up in love of God and neighbour. Their application to concrete cases is a task traditionally assigned to conscience and the process of what is today called moral discernment.

Reading List:

Christian self-identity:
- MACINTYRE A., After virtue, 2nd edition, London 1987.
- O'DONAVON O. Resurrection and Moral Order, 2nd Ed., Grand Rapids/MI, 1994.
- PINCKAERS S., Le fonti della morale cristiana, Milano 1992, 229-381.
- PORTER J., Moral Action and Christian Ethics, Cambridge 1995.
- RICOEUR P., Oneself as Another, Chicago - London 1992.
- SCHWEIKER W., Responsiblity and Christian Ethics, Cambridge 1995.
- SIMON R, Ethique de la responsabilite', Paris 1995.
- TAYLOR C., The Ethics of Authenticity, London 1991.
- TAYLOR C., Sources of the Self:Making of the Modern Identity, Cambridge 1989.

On normative Christian ethics:
- JOHN PAUL II Veritatis Splendor
- BOCKLE F., Morale Fondamentale, Brescia 1977.
- FINNIS J., Natural Law and Natural Rights, Oxford, 1980.
- FUCHS J., Human Values and Christian Morality.
- MAHONEY J., Seeking the Spirit: Essays in Moral and Pastoral Theology, London 1981, especially pp. 17-136.
- MCCABE H., Law, Love and Language, London 1968.
- RAMSEY I., Christian Ethics and Contemporary Philosophy, London 1966.
- SCHULLER B. Wholly Human: Essays on the Theory and Language of Morality, Dublin - Washington 1986.
- SELLING J.A., (Ed.), Personalist Morals, Leuven 1988.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM1 Yes 100%

LECTURER/S Nadia Delicata

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