Catholic Theological Ethics: Ancient Questions, Contemporary Responses

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9780761866879: Catholic Theological Ethics: Ancient Questions, Contemporary Responses

This book has two objectives, one explicit and one implicit. The explicit objective is to explore the normative implications for both general and sexual ethics of the methodological and anthropological developments in Catholic tradition. The implicit objective is to stimulate dialogue in the Church about ethics, particularly sexual ethics, a dialogue that must necessarily include all in the communion-Church, laity, theologians, and hierarchy. Since we believe that genuine and respectful dialogue about sexual morality is sorely needed to clarify Christian truth today, we intend this book to be part of that genuine dialogue.

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About the Author:

Michael G. Lawler is the Amelia and Emil Graff Professor Emeritus of Catholic Theology at Creighton University, Omaha, NE.

Todd A. Salzman is the Amelia and Emil Graff Professor of Catholic Theology at Creighton University.

Their recent co-authored publications include: Sexual Ethics: A Theological Introduction (2012); “Method and Catholic Theological Ethics in the Twenty-First Century,” Theological Studies (2013); “People Beginning Sexual Experience,” Oxford Handbook of Theology, Sexuality, and Gender (2015); and articles in Heythrop Journal, Irish Theological Quarterly, Louvain Studies, Horizons, and America.

Review:

This book offers an excellent summary of the current state of catholic theological ethics.... L. and S. have clearly reignited the discussion in catholic theological ethics. Producing monographs together is a testimony to the authors' ability to dialogue. The dialogical aim of this book is well reflected in the style and language which make the publication exceptionally accessible, even if the themes the authors consider are complex and contested but absolutely foundational for normative ethics. (INTAMS review: Journal for the Study of Marriage & Spirituality)

Catholic moral theology has undergone radical methodological developments since the second Vatican Council, giving greater consideration to the impact of human experience and the sciences in constructing a comprehensive ethical method. Lawler and Salzman, with their usual competence and command of historical and theological data, have given us a volume of essays which demonstrates the relevance and practical application of this method for understanding our sexuality. It will be eagerly read both within and beyond the confines of Catholic theology. (Adrian Thatcher, Honorary Professor, University of Exeter, UK.)

One could rightly question why Catholic Theological Ethics would be dealing with ‘Ancient Questions’. One would think that the church would have answered these questions a long time ago. That perspective, however, ignores the simple fact that we live in a changing world. When the Second Vatican Council called for an up-date, aggiornamento, of what and how the church teaches, most people thought it was talking about content, about moral rules. But the real issues that needed to be tackled were how one thinks about ethical issues. Lawler and Salzman are among the few Catholic ethicists who have taken on the challenge of rethinking ethical method and applying their findings to concrete questions, especially in sexual ethics. Their work is ground-breaking and deserves our full attention. (Joseph A. Selling, Emer. Prof. of Theological Ethics, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven)

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