Lecture Two: Structure of the Encyclical


Study Questions

1. Catholic moral theology insists that revelation and philosophical reason are both genuine sources for moral wisdom and insight.  Why does it insist that faith and revelation have a certain pride of place?

2. Progress in understanding important matters (including questions of moral theology) often depends on making careful distinctions and in distinguishing the different meanings that are sometimes assigned to the same term.  How does Veritatis splendor distinguish, for instance, between the meanings assigned to “conscience” by (a) the Church’s tradition of moral theology and (b) contemporary efforts to regard conscience as a matter of personal beliefs.

3. What is “the New Evangelization” and what role does Veritatis splendor see as the role of sound moral theology in the New Evangelization? 


Suggestions for further reading:

Cormac Burke. Conscience and Freedom. New York: Scepter Press, 1977.

Richard A. Spinello. The Encyclicals of John Paul II: An Introduction and Commenary. Lanham MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2012.  

Avery Dulles, S.J.  Evangelization for the Third Millennium. New York: Paulist Press, 2009.