Lecture One: Introduction


Study Questions

1. Catholic moral theology is committed to using philosophical reasoning and biblical revelation as genuine sources of knowledge and wisdom.  Provide examples of moral insight that can be known (a) by revelation alone, (b) by reason alone, and (c) by reason or by revelation.

2. What is the difference between the dignity that every human being has (whether innocent or guilty) and the dignity that is specific to those free of grave sin or crime?  What difference does this distinction make?

3. What, in general, is moral theology, and how does it differ from philosophical ethics (in its groundings, in its methods, in its conclusions)?  


Suggestions for further reading:

Pope John Paul II. Fides et Ratio (Encylical Letter “Faith and Reason”). Washington, D.C.: U.S. Catholic Conference, 1998.

David Foster and Joseph Koterski, S.J. The Two Wings of Catholic Thought: Essays on Fides et Ratio. Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 2003.

J. Brian Benestead. Church, State, and Society: An Introduction to Catholic Social Doctrine. Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, (2011), esp. ch. 3.