This unit aims to build on the introductory unit in Moral Theology by exploring Church Teaching and Pastoral Response in relation to a range of current issues in social and political forums; for example issues relating to 'a Christian theology of the body', Communion for divorced and invalidly married couples, life and death, bioethics, justice and peace, environment, economics. Consideration will also be given to reflection on what is an appropriate role for the Church in public discourse.

Unit code: DT2011Y

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 18.0

Unit level: Undergraduate Level 2

Unit discipline: Moral Theology

Proposing College: Yarra Theological Union

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Learning outcomes


Understand the nature and purpose of Catholic Church teaching relating to contemporary moral issues


Assess 'secular' and 'church' stances taken on contemporary moral issues in the public forum


Engage in dialogue using Christian ethical methodology in current discussions on contemporary moral issues


Evaluate complex moral issues arising in particular case situations


Present a cogent argument for a position taken on a specified issue

Unit sequence

DT1000Y Introduction to Moral Theology or equivalent


input from lecturer (powerpoint / video) class participation through tutorial, discussion, debate, Q&A guest speakers student reading, research, tutorial presentation, essay

Indicative Bibliography

  • Callahan, Daniel, The Roots of Bioethics: Health, Progress, Technology, Death. Oxford Uni press: Oxford / New York, 2012.
  • Kasper, Walter Mercy: The Essence of the Gospel and the Key to Christian Life Mahwah, New Jersey: Paulist Press, 2014.
  • Kass, Leon R. Life, Liberty and the Defense of Dignity: The Challenge for Bioethics. San Francisco, CA : Encounter Books, 2002.
  • Keen, Karen R. Scripture, Ethics and the Possibility of Same-Sex Relationships. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm.B.Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2018.
  • Martin, James. Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter Into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity. New York: HarperCollins Publishing Inc., 2017.
  • Noonan, John T. A Church that Can and Cannot Change. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2005. (Recommended for purchase)
  • Pope Francis. Amoris laetitia, Post Synodal Apostolic Exhortation March 19 2016.
  • Pope Francis. Laudato Si', Encyclical Letter 24 May 2015.
  • Williams, Oliver F., C.S.C. Editor. Peace Through Commerce: Responsible Corporate Citizenship and the Ideals of the United Nations Global Compact Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2008
  • Williams, Oliver F., C.S.C. Corporate Social Responsibility: The Role of Business in Sustainable Development New York: Routledge, 2014


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Variant 1


Tutorial Paper/Seminar Paper
1 Tutorial Paper 2250 words 50% and Essay
1 Essay 2250 words 50% or 1 Essay
4500 words 100%

4500 100.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 27 Sep, 2019

Unit record last updated: 2021-06-07 08:43:49 +1000