RC 513: Readings in the History of Moral Theology

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Module Level

9/10 STL Reading Course


A seminar presentation and two essays of 3,000 words each.

Module Aims

To enable students to become familiar with the history of moral theology through a historical account of sources, methods and debates with a view to appreciating and analysing the present state of the discipline.

Indicative Syllabus

  • Confession and the development of moral theology
  • Thomas Aquinas and the Summa Theologiae
  • Catholic Moral Theology and Reformed Theological ethics
  • The Manuals of Moral Theology
  • Casuistry and Moral Systems
  • ‘Retrieval’ of Moral Theology prior to Vatican II
  • Vatican II and Renewal of Moral Theology
  • Faith-ethic/Autonomy debate
  • New Foundations for Moral Theology Post Vatican II
  • Spirituality and Moral Theology


  • Christina A. Astorga, Catholic Moral Theology & Social Ethics, (New York: Orbis Books, 2014).
  • Eds. Charles E. Curran and Richard A. McCormick, The Distinctiveness of Christian Ethics – Readings in Moral Theology No. 2, (New York: Paulist Press, 1980).
  • Eds. Charles E. Curran and Lisa A. Fullam, Ethics and Spirituality – Readings in Moral Theology, No. 17, (New York: Paulist Press, 2014.
  • James M. Gustafson, Protestant and Roman Catholic Ethics, (Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1978).
  • Albert R. Jonsen & Stephen Toulmin, The Abuse of Casuistry – A History of Moral Reasoning, (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1988).
  • James F. Keenan, A History of Moral Theology in the Twentieth Century, (New York: Continuum, 2010).
  • John Mahoney, The Making of Moral Theology, (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1987).
  • Paulinus I. Odozor, Moral Theology in an Age of Renewal – A Study of the Catholic Tradition since Vatican II, (Notre Dame, Ind.: University 2003).of Notre Dame Press.
  • Ed. Stephen J. Pope, The Ethics of Aquinas, (Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2002).
  • J. Philip Wogaman, Christian Ethics – A Historical Introduction, 2nd edition, (Loiusville, Ky: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011).