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: DT8002C

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Foundational

Unit discipline: Moral Theology

Proposing College: Catholic Theological College

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Learning outcomes


Articulate the relationship between moral experience and Christian faith.


Analyse the implications of the history of moral theology within the Catholic tradition.


Demonstrate an understanding of the sources of moral knowledge within the Catholic tradition and their role in the formation of conscience.


Discuss the relationship between personal morality and moral conscience within the Catholic tradition.


Develop a topic of research in a critically rigorous manner demonstrating competence in the methodologies of the discipline.


Lectures and workshops across each 3-hour session

Indicative Bibliography

  • Curran, Charles E., and Richard McCormick, eds. Readings in Moral Theology. 18 vols. New York: Paulist, 1980–2017.
  • 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.
  • Hays, Richard B. The Moral Vision of the New Testament: Community, Cross, New Creation: A Contemporary Introduction to New Testament Ethics. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1996.
  • John Paul, II. Veritatis Splendor. Encyclical Letter. 1993.
  • 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. Theology in Global Perspective Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2010.
  • Melina, Livio. Sharing in Christ’s Virtues: For a Renewal of Moral Theology in Light of Veritatis Splendor. Washington, DC: Catholic University Press, 2001.
  • O’Neil, Kevin J., and Peter Black. The Essential Moral Handbook: A Guide to Catholic Living. Rev. ed. Liguori: Liguori, 2006.
  • Pinckaers, Servais. The Sources of Christian Ethics. Washington, DC: Catholic University of America Press, 1995.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Essay 1000 20.0
Essay 3000 50.0
Essay 2000 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