The context of this unit is the Catholic tradition and the recognition of the dignity of our call in Christ to “bring forth fruit in charity for the life of the world” (Vatican II Optatum Totius 16); it proceeds on the understanding that we are created as relational beings, in communion with God, humanity, and the rest of the created world.

The content of the unit includes: the call-response structure of Christian life; formation of a moral vision; the basis of moral obligation; Christian anthropology and moral response; sources for Christian morality/ethics – sacred scripture, church teaching, the moral tradition, natural law, human experience; conscience and ethical decision making; the moral act from both the objective perspective and that of the acting subject; morality and spirituality; freedom; sin and conversion; virtue. (This unit may be offered in online mode.)

Unit code: DT2002C

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 2

Unit discipline: Moral Theology

Delivery Mode: Face to Face

Proposing College: Catholic Theological College

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Learning outcomes


Explain the relationships between moral life and Christian faith particularly in the context of a pluralist society.


Identify central concepts within the Catholic moral tradition, and explain the meaning, significance, and relevant relationships between these concepts.


Describe the sources of moral knowledge within the Catholic moral tradition and demonstrate an understanding of the contribution of these to moral decision-making.


Demonstrate an understanding of the dimensions of moral conscience within the Catholic tradition.


Articulate an understanding of Christian moral life which is both theologically informed and pastorally focussed.


Lectures and workshops across each 3-hour session

Indicative Bibliography

  • Astorga, Christiana A. Catholic Moral Theology and Social Ethics: A New Method. Maryknoll, New York: Orbis Books, 2014.
  • Curran, Charles E., and Richard McCormick, eds. Readings in Moral Theology. Vol. 14, Conscience. New York: Paulist, 2004.
  • Curran, Charles E. The Development of Moral Theology: Five Strands. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2013.
  • Gula, Richard M. The Good Life: Where Morality and Spirituality Converge. New York: Paulist, 1999.
  • Harrington, Daniel J., and James F. Keenan. Jesus and Virtue Ethics: Building Bridges Between New Testament Studies and Moral Theology. Lanham, MD: Sheed & Ward, 2002.
  • Keenan, James F. A History of Catholic Moral Theology in the Twentieth Century: From Confessing Sins to Liberating Consciences. London: Continuum, 2010.
  • Keating, James, ed. Moral Theology: New Directions and Fundamental Issues: Festschrift for James P. Hanigan. New York: Paulist, 2004.
  • Lamoureux, Patricia and Paul J. Wadell. The Christian Moral Life: Faithful Discipleship for a Global Society Theology in Global Perspective, Edited by Peter C. Phan. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2010.
  • MacNamara, Vincent. The Call To Be Human: Making Sense of Morality. Dublin: Veritas Publications, 2010.
  • O’Neil, Kevin J., and Peter Black. The Essential Moral Handbook: A Guide to Catholic Living. Rev. ed. Liguori, MO: Liguori, 2006.
  • Woods, Walter. Walking With Faith: New Perspectives on the Sources and Shaping of Catholic Moral Life. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press, 2002.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Investigation 1000 20.0
Essay 2500 50.0
Written Examination

1-hour examination

1000 30.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 22 Jul, 2020

Unit record last updated: 2021-06-07 08:43:51 +1000