Friday, 28 August 2020

UTHE105 Life in Christ: The Catechism and Moral Theology

Audio of lectures available on my podcast here

Word documents of each lecture are available in a Dropbox folder here

Aug 28th

1)    Introduction: What is Moral Theology?  What is the Catechism? What’s in this course?


Sept 1st

2)    A History of Moral Theology

Required reading: 

Pinckaers, Servais. Morality: The Catholic View, trans Michael Sherwin, South Bend, Indiana: St Augustine’s Press, 2001: 25-41 and 44.


Sept 4th

3)    The Sources of Moral Theology: Scripture, Tradition, Magisterium

Required reading: CCC 74-90; 1691-8.

Suggested further reading: 

CCC 2030-2051, i.e. 1.3.3 The Church, Mother and Teacher.

CDF, Instruction on the Ecclesial Vocation of the Theologian, Donum Veritatis (1990).


Sept 8th

4)    (a) What is Man?  The Image of God

Required reading: CCC 1699-1715, i.e. 1.1.1: Man: The Image of God.

Suggested further reading: Torrell, Jean-Pierre. St Thomas Aquinas, Vol 2, Washington DC, CUA Press, 2003, pp.80-100.

(b)  Beatitude

Required reading: CCC 1716-1729, i.e. 1.1.2: Our Vocation to Beatitude.


Sept 11th

5)    (a) Freedom 

Required reading: CCC1730-1748, i.e. 1.1.3: Man’s Freedom.

Suggested further reading: Neenan, Mary. The Nature of the Human Soul, Cluny Media, 2017: 41-74 (small pages).

(b) Sin as a Perversion of the Quest for happiness 

Required reading: CCC 1846-1853; 1870-72; ST I q 114 aa2-3, I-II q77 a5, c.f. 1.1.8: Sin.

Suggested further reading: Farrell, Walter. A Companion to the Summa Vol.1, New York, Sheed and Ward, 1941: 231-49 esp p.242. 



Sept 15th

6)    (a) The End doesn’t Justify the Means

Required reading: 

CCC 1749-1761, esp. 1759, i.e. 1.1.4: The Morality of Human Acts;

Spaemann, Robert. “Even the best of intentions does not justify the use of evil means”, Reflections on the Encyclical Letter ‘Veritatis Splendor’-7, L’Osservatore Romano(English) 50 (15 December 1993): 11.

(b)  The Principle of Double Effect 

Suggested further reading: Furton, Edward & Albert Moraczewski. “Double Effect”, in Catholic Health Care Ethics, 3rd edition, ed. Edward Furton, Philadelphia: National Catholic Bioethics Center, 2020: 3.18-3.23.


Sept 18th

7)    Conscience 

Required reading: CCC 1776-1802, i.e. 1.1.6: Moral Conscience.

Suggested further reading: Pinckaers, Servais. The Pinckaers Reader, ed. John Berkman and Craig Steven Titus, Washington DC: CUA Press, 2005, pp.321-40 excerpts.


Sept 22nd

8)    (a) The Passions

Required reading: CCC 1762-1775, i.e. 1.1.5: The Morality of the Passions.

Suggested further reading: Neenan, Mary. The Nature of the Human Soul, Cluny Media, 2017: 9-23

(b) Virtue 

Required reading: CCC 1803-1845, i.e. 1.1.7: The Virtues.


Sept 25th

9)    Virtues & Vices: A look at some inter-relationships

Required reading: Pinckaers, Servais. The Pinckaers Reader, ed. John Berkman and Craig Steven Titus, Washington DC: CUA Press, 2005: 288-303 (shortened).


Sept 29th

10) (a) Mortal and Venial Sin 

Required reading: CCC 1854-1869; 1873-6, c.f. 1.1.8: Sin.

Suggested further reading:  May, William. An Introduction to Moral Theology, 2nd ed., Huntington, Indiana: Our Sunday Visitor, 2003: 193-204 excerpts.

(b) Law vs Virtue?  A comparison of two paradigms

Suggested further reading: Pinckaers, Servais. The Sources of Christian Ethics, trans. Sr Mary Noble, Washington DC, CUA Press, 1995: 404-407; 452-455, 91-93 excerpts.


Oct 2nd

11) The Natural Moral Law 

Required reading: CCC 1949-1986, i.e. 1.3.1 The Moral Law.


Oct 6th

12) Grace, Justification, and and the Moral Life 

Required reading: CCC 1987-2029, i.e. 1.3.2 Grace and Justification.

Suggested further reading: 

Nichols, Aiden. The Service of Glory, Steubenville, Ohio, Franciscan Uni Press, 1997: 159-78;

Kobusch, Theo. “Grace” in The Ethics of Aquinas, ed. Stephen Pope, Washington DC, Georgetown Uni Press, 2002: 207-220.


Oct 9th

13) Review Class (1)


Oct 13th

14) Review Class (2)


Midterm Exams 12-16th

Midsemester Break 17th-24th


Oct 27th

15) Law, Obligation, Epikeia, Probabilism

Suggested further reading: 

Prummer, Dominic. Handbook of Moral Theology, Cork, Mercier Press, 1956: 27-46.

Smith, Russell E. “Who are the Auctores Probati?”, Ethics and Medics 25.6 (June 2000): 2.

Grisez, Germain. Christian Moral Principles, Quincy, Illinois: Franciscan Herald Press, 1983: 304-7.

Peschke, Karl. Christian Ethics, Vol 1, Evesham: John Neale Pub, 2005: 53-57, 149-157.


Oct 30th

16) (a) Society and The Common Good 

Required reading: 

CCC 1877-96; 1905-1912; 1924-27, c.f. 2.1 The Person and Society;

CCC 1928-1948, i.e. 1.2.3 Social Justice.

Suggested further reading: Benestad, ,J. Brian. Church State, and Society, Washington DC, CUA Press, 2010: 81-113.

(b) Democracy

Required reading: 

CCC 1897-1904; 1913-1923, c.f. 1.2.2. Participation in Social Life.


Nov 3rd

17) Civil Law, the Government, and the Common Good

Required reading: CCC 2234-46.

Suggested further reading: Benestad, J. Brian. Church State, and Society, Washington DC: CUA Press, 2010: 168-211.


Nov 6th

18) The Ten Commandments: An Introduction & Summary; Dies Domini: The Lord’s Day

Required reading: 

CCC 2052-2167.

CCC 2168-2195, i.e. 2.3 The 3rd Commandment,

John Paul II, Dies Domini, nn.2,7,46,49,81.

Suggested further reading: Casciaro, C.S. and J.M. Monforte. God, the World, and Man in the Message of the Bible, Dublin: Four Courts Press, 1996: 396-413.


Nov 10th

19) The Family and Society; Marriage (Unity & Fertility)

Required reading: 

CCC 2196-2257 (not 2234-6), i.e. 2.4 The 4th Commandment.

CCC 2360-2381; 2396-2400, c.f. 2.6 The 6th Commandment.

Suggested further reading: Benestad, J. Brian. Church State, and Society, Washington DC: CUA Press, 2010: 254-80.


Nov 13th

20) Divorce and Second Unions  

Required reading: CCC 2382-2391, c.f. 2.6 The 6th Commandment.


Nov 17th

21) Abortion, Euthanasia, Death Penalty 

Required reading: CCC 2258-2301; 2318-2326, c.f. 2.5 The 5th Commandment.


Nov 20th

22) Self-Defence & Just War

Required reading: 

CCC 2263-7; 2302-2317; 2327-2330, c.f. 2.5 The 5th Commandment.

Suggested further reading: Benestad, J. Brian. Church State, and Society, Washington DC: CUA Press, 2010: 403-426.


Nov 24th

23) (a) Chasity: Integrating the Desires, not suppressing them

Required reading: CCC 2331-2359; 2392-2395, c.f. 2.6 The 6th Commandment.

(b) The Battle for Purity

Required reading: CCC 2514-2533, i.e. 2.9 The 9th Commandment.

Suggested further reading: Cole, Basil and Paul Connor. Christian Totality, New York: Alba House Pub, 1997: 93-97.

(c) Covetousness, Poverty and Purity of Desire

Suggested further reading: CCC 2534-2557, i.e. 2.10 The 10th Commandment.


Dec 1st (no class Nov 27th)

24) Environmental Ethics

Required reading: 

CCC 299, 358, 373, 2402, 2415-2418, 2452, 2456-7, c.f. 2.7 The 7th Commandment.

Suggested further reading: Pope Benedict XVI, World Day of Peace Message (1 Jan 2010): 8, 11, 13; and, Pope Francis, Laudato Si (2015): 118, 119.


Dec 4th

25) (a) Capitalism and Democracy 

Required reading: 

CCC 2401-2414; 2419-2455; 2458-63, c.f. 2.7 The 7th Commandment.

Suggested further reading: Weigel, George. “The Virtues of Freedom.  Centesimus Annus(1991)”, in Building the Free Society. Democracy, Capitalism, and Catholic Social Teaching, ed. George Weigel and Robert Royal, Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans Pub, 1993: 207-23 excerpts. 

(b) Truth and Lying

Suggested further reading: CCC 2464-2513 1-2414, i.e. 2.8 The 8th Commandment.


Dec 11th (no class Dec 8th)

26) Review Class


Final exam: 14-18th Dec

Course survey due: 18th Dec

Grades due: 29th Dec 

No comments: