The Moral Virtues and Theological Ethics, Second Edition / Edition 2

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First published in 1991, The Moral Virtues and Theological Ethicsintroduced readers to an approach in Christian ethics that was not then much in vogue. Although the Second Vatican Council had marked a departure from the legalistic code of proper conduct for Catholics (known since the Catholic Reformation as “casuistry”), few Catholic theologians had yet begun to explore an ethics based on moral virtues rather than one based on narrow, prescriptive rules.

At the forefront of studies that would begin to recover virtue ethics—the ethical teaching of the church in the patristic, monastic, and scholastic traditions—The Moral Virtues and Theological Ethicshas been widely used to introduce both students and scholars to the relatively “new” idea of virtue ethics, now a dominant principle in Catholic moral theology.
Following a brief new preface, the text of the six chapters in the original edition remains unchanged. However, Romanus Cessario, O.P., has substantially updated the citations in the notes to account for recent literature on the subject and has written a new chapter that accommodates his original study to the current ethos of moral theology. He draws on documents of the Catholic Church since 1991 to enrich the contemporary discussion of moral virtues and the dynamics of living a happy life. This second edition will inspire a new generation of readers, especially students and teachers of moral theology.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"In this second edition, Cessario presents a brief but thorough introduction to Christian virtue theory, specifically as expounded by Aquinas in his Summa Theologiae. What is new here is a consideration of recent papal teaching (John Paul II's Veritatis Splendor and Benedict XVI's Deus Caritas Est) as it relates to virtue theory. . . . The book is meant to be studied, not merely read, and so is most appropriate for graduate and advanced [students]. " — Choice

“It is the author’s intention to provide a general introduction to the Christian virtues and their role in ethics for students. A moral theology based on virtues represents an important element of the tradition. The author’s main source is Thomas Aquinas. . . . The author’s emphasis on the imago Dei as a theological category is a good starting point.” —Catholic Library World

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780268022976
  • Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press
  • Publication date: 11/15/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 929,607
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Romanus Cessario, O.P., is a fellow of the Pontifical Academy of Saint Thomas Aquinas and professor of systematic theology at St. John's Seminary in Brighton, Massachusetts.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 The Moral Virtues and Christian Faith 12

2 Habitus, Character, and Growth 34

3 What is a Moral Virtue? 45

4 Prudence and the Moral Virtues 72

5 What Causes the Moral Virtues to Develop? 94

6 Characteristics of the Virtues 126

7 After Veritatis Splendor: The Moral Virtues and Catholic Moral Thought 151

Conclusion 173

Notes 179

Index of Subjects 228

Index of Names 231

Index of Scripture References 235

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