Cover image for The Catholic moral tradition today : a synthesis
The Catholic moral tradition today : a synthesis
Curran, Charles E.
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Publication Information:
Washington, D.C. : Georgetown University Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
xiii, 255 pages ; 23 cm.

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BJ1249 .C79 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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The Catholic tradition has always tried to explain its theology in a coherent and systematic way, but the great changes and tensions existing within Catholic moral theology today have made it difficult to develop systematic approaches to what was once called fundamental moral theology. Now a leading scholar active in this field for forty years offers a synthesis of Catholic moral theology set in the context of the broader Catholic tradition and the significant developments that have occurred since the Second Vatican Council.

Charles E. Curran's succinct, coherent account of his wide-ranging work in Catholic moral theology points out agreements, disagreements, and changes in significant aspects of the Catholic moral tradition. His systematic approach explores major topics in a logical development: the ecclesiological foundation and stance of moral theology; the person as moral subject and agent; virtues, principles and norms; conscience and decision making; and the role of the church as a teacher of morality.

Curran's work condenses and organizes a large amount of material to show that the Catholic theological tradition is in dialogue with contemporary life and thought while remaining conscious of its rich history. Of great interest to theologians for its broad synthetic scope, this book is also a thorough introduction to the Catholic moral tradition for students and interested readers, including non-Catholics.

Author Notes

Charles E. Curran is the Elizabeth Scurlock University Professor of Human Values at Southern Methodist University. He has served as president of three national societies: the American Theological Society, the Catholic Theological Society of America, and the Society of Christian Ethics. Curran has written or edited more than forty books, including T he Origins of Moral Theology in the United States (Georgetown University Press, 1997).

Table of Contents

Prefacep. ix
1 Ecclesial Contextp. 1
What is the Church?p. 2
Catholicity of the Churchp. 4
Mediation and Hierarchical Structurep. 10
Catholic Practicep. 14
Dangers in the Catholic Approachp. 15
Contemporary Challenges to the Catholic Approachp. 18
Notesp. 25
2 Stancep. 30
Meaning of Stancep. 30
Stance Based on the Fivefold Christian Mysteriesp. 33
The Stance and the Catholic Traditionp. 34
Stance and Other Approachesp. 45
Sources of Moral Theologyp. 47
Notesp. 56
3 Modelp. 60
The Deontological Modelp. 61
The Teleological Modelp. 66
Relationality-Responsibility Modelp. 73
The Relationality-Responsibility Model and Catholic Moral Theology Todayp. 77
Notesp. 83
4 Personp. 87
Preliminary Considerationsp. 87
Discipleshipp. 89
Contemporary Theology and the Personp. 91
Contemporary Spirituality and the Personp. 93
Contemporary Moral Theology and the Personp. 95
Social and Institutional Involvements of the Personp. 98
Notesp. 106
5 Virtuesp. 110
Virtue in the Catholic Traditionp. 111
General Virtuesp. 113
Particular Virtuesp. 118
Powerp. 130
Notesp. 133
6 Principlesp. 137
The Approach of the Hierarchical Magisteriump. 138
Criticisms of the Hierarchical Approachp. 144
Role of Principles and Normsp. 160
Absolute Normsp. 165
Notesp. 166
7 Consciencep. 172
Preliminary Considerationsp. 172
The Catholic Moral Traditionp. 174
Other Ways of Decision Makingp. 177
A Constructive Theory of Conscience and Decision Makingp. 181
Meaning of Sinp. 190
The "Law of Growth"p. 192
Notesp. 194
8 Church Teachingp. 197
Total Church as Teacherp. 197
The Hierarchical Teaching Officep. 199
Justification of Dissentp. 215
Present Situationp. 221
Conclusionp. 226
Notesp. 228
Afterwordp. 235
Notesp. 240
Indexp. 241