Introduction to Moral Theology / Edition 2

Introduction to Moral Theology / Edition 2

4.0 1
by William E. May

ISBN-10: 1931709920

ISBN-13: 9781931709927

Pub. Date: 09/28/2003

Publisher: Our Sunday Visitor (IN)

An Introduction to Moral Theology, Second Edition, offers a clear, complete, and convincing examination and explanation of Catholic doctrine. Here -- carefully documented, annotated, and indexed -- is not only what the Church teaches but also why it is obligated to do so. And why its members are obligated to examine and to apply that teaching. This updated and…  See more details below


An Introduction to Moral Theology, Second Edition, offers a clear, complete, and convincing examination and explanation of Catholic doctrine. Here -- carefully documented, annotated, and indexed -- is not only what the Church teaches but also why it is obligated to do so. And why its members are obligated to examine and to apply that teaching. This updated and expanded edition of a text long trusted and widely used in colleges, universities, and seminaries, as well as in high schools and parish religious education programs, offers the latest Catholic teaching on moral theology, including: Moral theology: its nature, purpose, and biblical foundation, Human dignity, free human action, virtue, and conscience, Natural law, moral absolutes, and sin, Christian faith and our moral life. Read why -- and how -- living what the Church teaches can transform hearts, minds, and souls.

Product Details

Our Sunday Visitor (IN)
Publication date:
Edition description:
Second Edition
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5.88(w) x 8.96(h) x 0.75(d)

Table of Contents

Foreword to the First Edition13
Introduction to the Second Edition15
Key to Abbreviations of Biblical Books21
Chapter 1Moral Theology: Its Nature, Purpose, and Biblical Foundation23
The Moral Life--An Introductory Description23
The Nature, Purpose, and Renewal of Moral Theology23
1.Who We Are and Who We Are Meant to Be in the Light of Faith23
2.Theology and Moral Theology26
3.The Function and Purpose of Moral Theology26
4.The Renewal of Moral Theology27
Moral Theology and Holy Scripture31
Notes for Chapter 137
Chapter 2Human Dignity, Free Human Action, Virtue, and Conscience41
1.Three Kinds of Human Dignity41
2.Free Choice44
3.The Significance of Human Action and the Meaning of Character47
4.Virtue and Our Moral Life48
A.Grisez on Virtue52
B.St. Thomas Aquinas on Virtue53
C.Virtue-based Ethics and Principles-based Ethics56
5.Conscience and Our Moral Life57
Notes for Chapter 265
Chapter 3The Natural Law and Moral Life71
Natural Law in St. Thomas Aquinas71
1.The Basic Understanding of Law in the Summa Theologiae72
2.Eternal Law73
3.Natural Law: Its Central Meaning and Character73
4.'Primary' Precepts of Natural Law, Precepts 'Close to' Primary Precepts, and Other Precepts of Natural Law76
Excursus 1St. Thomas and Ulpian's Definition of Natural Law80
Excursus 2St. Thomas's Teaching on Natural Law in the Summa Contra Gentes84
Natural Law, Vatican Council II, and Pope John Paul II87
1.Natural Law and Vatican Council II87
2.Natural Law in the Teaching of Pope John Paul II91
Natural Law in the Thought of Germain Grisez, John Finnis, and Joseph Boyle93
1.The First Principle of Practical Reasoning and Its General Specifications94
2.The First Principle of Morality and the Ideal of 'Integral Human Fulfillment'98
3.The Specifications of the First Principle of Morality: The Modes of Responsibility102
4.From Modes of Responsibility to Specific Moral Norms105
5.Moral Priorities, Religion, and God106
6.A Summary of the Natural Law Teaching of Grisez, Finnis, and Boyle111
7.An Assessment of the Thought of Grisez, Finnis, and Boyle on Natural Law113
Natural Law in the Thought of Martin Rhonheimer119
1.Areas of Agreement Between Rhonheimer and Grisez, Finnis, and Boyle119
2.Areas of Disagreement Between Rhonheimer and Grisez, Finnis, and Boyle120
A.Two Levels of Practical Reason: The Perceptive-Practical and the Descriptive-Reflexive120
B.The Relationship Between Natural Law and Virtue122
C.The Movement From the First or Common Principles of Natural Law to the 'Proximate' or 'Immediate' Conclusions123
Notes for Chapter 3125
Chapter 4Moral Absolutes141
1.The Revisionist Rejection of Moral Absolutes142
A.Clarifying the Terminology145
B.Arguments to Support the Revisionists' Denial of Moral Absolutes146
I.The 'Preference' Principle or Principle of 'Proportionate Good'146
II.The Nature of a Human Act as a Totality148
III.The Historicity of Human Existence150
2.A Critique of Revisionist Denial of Moral Absolutes151
I.The 'Preference' Principle or Principle of 'Proportionate Good'152
II.The Nature of a Human Act as a Whole or Totality156
III.The Historicity of Human Existence and Moral Absolutes157
3.A Defense of the Truth of Moral Absolutes159
Notes for Chapter 4164
Appendix I To Chapter Four: St. Thomas and Moral Absolutes170
Notes for Appendix I to Chapter Four174
Appendix II To Chapter Four: Pope John Paul II and Moral Absolutes176
1.The Moral Specification of Human Acts176
2.The Criteria for Assessing the Moral Goodness or Badness of Human Acts177
3.Moral Absolutes Protect the Inviolable Dignity of Human Persons and Point the Way Toward Fulfillment in Christ179
4.The Incoherence of Ethical Theories Denying the Existence of Intrinsically Evil Acts and Absolute Moral Norms181
5.The Infallibility of the Teaching Found in Veritatis Splendor182
Chapter 5Sin and the Moral Life185
1.The Core Meaning of Sin185
A.The Biblical Understanding of Sin185
B.The Understanding of Sin in the Catholic Theological Tradition189
2.The Distinction Between Mortal and Venial Sin194
A.Biblical and Magisterial Sources for This Distinction194
B.The Classical Theological Understanding of This Distinction196
C.Fundamental Option Theories and the Distinction Between Mortal and Venial Sin198
D.Fundamental Commitments, the Christian Way of Life, and Mortal Sin203
3.The Role of Sin in Our Moral Lives: The Way of Sin to Death205
Notes for Chapter 5207
Chapter 6Christian Faith and Our Moral Life211
1.The Existential Context of Our Moral Life211
2.Jesus, the Foundation of the Christian Moral Life215
3.Our Baptismal Commitment and Personal Vocation221
4.Christian Love, the Principle of Our Life in Christ227
5.The Beatitudes, Specifying the Requirements of Christian Love229
6.The Question of Specific Christian Moral Norms233
7.The Practicality of the Christian Moral Life236
Notes for Chapter 6240
Chapter 7The Church as Moral Teacher245
1.Teaching and Pastoral Authority Within the Church245
2.Specific Moral Norms Infallibly Taught by the Magisterium250
3.What Response Should Be Given to Moral Teachings of the Magisterium Proposed Authoritatively But Not Infallibly?257
Notes for Chapter 7265
Chapter 8Christian Moral Life and John Paul II's Encyclical Veritatis Splendor269
Detailed Exposition of Pope John Paul II's Teaching269
The Introduction and an Overview of the Document269
Chapter 1Christ and the Answer to the Question About Morality270
A.Principal Ideas Set Forth in Chapter One271
I.The Religious and Existential Significance of the Young Man's Question271
II.The Sovereignty of God Over the Moral Order271
III.The Essential Link Between Obedience to the Commandments and Eternal Life272
IV.The 'Fulfillment' of the Law in Jesus; the Universal Call to Perfection272
V.Moral Life, the Unity of the Church, and Revelation273
VI.The More-than-human Authority of the Magisterium on Moral Questions273
B.Dionigi Tettamanzi's Analysis of Chapter One274
I.The Christocentric Meaning of Our Moral Life274
II.The Ecclesial Dimension of Christian Moral Life275
Chapter 2The Church and the Discernment of Certain Tendencies in Present-day Moral Theology275
I.Freedom and the Law277
II.Conscience and the Truth278
III.Fundamental Choice and Specific Kinds of Behavior279
IV.The Moral Act281
Chapter 3Moral Good for the Life of the Church and of the World283
I.The Relationship Between Human Freedom and the Truth284
II.The Intimate and Inseparable Unity of Faith and Morality285
III.The Relationship Between Respect for Personal Dignity and Refusal to Engage in Intrinsically Evil Acts285
IV.The Absolute Need for God's Grace to Live a Morally Upright Life286
V.The Service of Moral Theologians286
VI.The Responsibility of Bishops286
Reactions to the Encyclical286
The Selling-Jans Book: The Splendor of Accuracy287
Richard McCormick's 'Some Early Reactions to Veritatis Splendor' and Martin Rhonheimer's Critique of McCormick288
J. A. DiNoia's 'Veritatis Splendor: Moral Life as Transfigured Life'292
Notes for Chapter 8294
AppendixChristian Moral Life and the Catechism of the Catholic Church295
1.A Synopsis of the Catechism's Teaching on the Christian Moral Life296
2.Essential Meaning of Christian Morality According to the Catechism298
A.The Moral Life as an Endeavor on the Part of Human Persons to Become Fully the Beings God Wills Them to Be299
B.Our Absolute Dependence Upon God to Enable Us to Become Fully the Beings He Wills Us to Be300
C.The God-given Authority of the Church as Mother and Teacher300
D.What We Must Do in Order to Become Fully the Beings God Wills Us to Be301
Notes for Appendix303

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Introduction to Moral Theology 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is probably the best book in Catholic moral theology out there. If you have doubts about your faith read this.