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Moral Theology at the End of the Century

Posted By: tot167
Moral Theology at the End of the Century

Charles E. Curran, “Moral Theology at the End of the Century”
Marquette Univ Pr | 1999-03 | ISBN: 0874625793 | 66 pages | PDF | 1,8 MB

The title of this lecture makes no claim to originality.
The title comes from an influential article written by
Thomas J. Bouquillon in 1899—"Moral Theology
at the End of the Nineteenth Century."1 In that
article Bouquillon, the first holder of the Chair of
Moral Theology at The Catholic University of
America, deals with the deficiencies of moral theology
at the time and makes suggestions for the
renewal of moral theology.

At the end of the twentieth century as a moral
theologian in the United States, I welcome the
opportunity to use the prestigious Pére Marquette
Lecture to address the analogous topic of moral
theology at the end of the twentieth century. Like
Bouquillon's article, this lecture must find some way
to narrow so huge a topic.

The most outstanding characteristic of Catholic
moral theology in the United States in the twentieth
century has been the dramatic changes that have
occurred. The distance between the discussion among
priest professors at the end of the last century about
the manuals of moral theology with the aim of
training confessors for the sacrament of penance and
debates about feminist ethics in Catholic moral
theology well illustrate these startling developments.
James M. Gustafson, the eminent Protestant ethicist
who has been an insightful and sympathetic critic of
Catholic moral theology, refers to the "intellectual
leap or gulf" between these different genres of moral
theology. Gustafson points out that the story behind
this change is "so dense and complex that perhaps no
one can competently tell it at the present time."





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