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The second edition of James F. Keenan's beloved book Moral Wisdom has been fully revised and updated, including new discussions on social sin and Pope Benedict XVI's encyclical Caritas in Veritate, a clearer exploration of Jesus in the New Testament, and new study questions at the end of each chapter. "Moral wisdom," as Father Keenan calls it, is the distinctive gift of the Catholic traditions, a gift that helps us discern what values to pursue and which virtues to embody on the path to becoming who we really are and who God calls us to be.
[Keenan's books] read like very good sermons or college lectures by a priest both learned and engaged in the world. By making the Catholic tradition come alive, the books invite moral reflection and struggle.
Father James Keenan is one of those rare contemporary theologians who compellingly weave together rich pastoral experience and masterful intellectual inquiry. To read him is to hear not only the considered wisdom of Catholic moral teaching, but to have the privilege of hearing a learned man struggling to work out his own moral practices. In this book, lay readers and scholars alike can see how Catholic moral tradition informs a life of discernment, love, and everyday courage.
This is a lovely book! Keenan probes his own experiences of struggle, suffering and love, interweaving them with biblical reflection and theological analysis. He looks fault and sorrow squarely in the face, yet sustains buoyant notes of hope and commitment. The content of this book is an exercise in the virtue of its title.
Imagine a book that is at once a source of profound wisdom, a systematic presentation of a moral and ethical tradition, and a 'page-turner!' This is what James Keenan's Moral Wisdom turns out to be. There is nothing facile about this volume, nothing superficial, nothing manipulative. It weaves together autobiography, the stories of others, interpretation of biblical and theological texts, and a deep understanding of what morality is and what the Roman Catholic tradition of moral theology has been and can be when it is at its best. Few will come away from reading this book without imaginative new hope, salutary appreciation for 'hard sayings,' new insight into the meaning of divine mercy, and perhaps experiences of both laughter and the 'gift of tears.' Thought-provoking and informative, opening questions and not shutting them down: here is a significant contribution to ongoing explorations of the moral life.
James Keenan puts 'flesh and bones' on the abstractions of moral theory and demonstrates from his own personal experience how the Christian moral life is a pilgrimage of faith, hope and love. Keenan's book will be used widely in college classrooms and seminaries alike. His clarity, honesty and passion ought to be emulated by every moral theologian.
Introduction: Moral Wisdom Beyond The Moral Manuals 1
Part I The Lessons
Chapter 1 Love 9
Chapter 2 Conscience 27
Chapter 3 Sin 45
Chapter 4 Suffering 67
Part II The Texts
Chapter 5 Jesus in the New Testament 89
Chapter 6 The Ten Commandments in the Catechism 99
Chapter 7 Practicing the Corporal Works of Mercy 117
Chapter 8 Cultivating the Cardinal Virtues 135
Part III The Future
Chapter 9 Hope and Leadership 155
Conclusion: "To Live Likewise" 167
About the Author 195
I read this book for my fundamental moral theology course in the seminary. It is well-balanced and readable. It is a good resource for those attempting to "connect the dots" on the Church's moral teaching with personal spirituality and action.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.