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by James F. Keenan

  • ISBN: 0826429289
  • Category: Christian Books
  • Author: James F. Keenan
  • Subcategory: Theology
  • Other formats: doc mobi docx lit
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Continuum; 1 edition (January 17, 2010)
  • Pages: 256 pages
  • FB2 size: 1788 kb
  • EPUB size: 1879 kb
  • Rating: 4.9
  • Votes: 679
Download A History of Catholic Moral Theology in the Twentieth Century: From Confessing Sins to Liberating Consciences fb2

James F. Keenan has crafted an insightful narrative reflecting the contributions of multiple theologians . For more on conscience in the Catholic Cathecism, see sections 1783-1802.

James F. Keenan has crafted an insightful narrative reflecting the contributions of multiple theologians associated with moral theology during the past century. A History of Catholic Moral Theology in the Twentieth Century is a remarkable achievement. Conscience informed not in isolation is the best approach; however it appears to this reader that conscience alone is the preferred approach of Fr. Keenan. and" approach to theology that I was taught as a Catholic! Fr.

But despite this limitation, the book is nevertheless something close to essential reading for anyone who wants to seriously converse with moral theology of the 20th century

But despite this limitation, the book is nevertheless something close to essential reading for anyone who wants to seriously converse with moral theology of the 20th century. Keenan has done us all a great service in providing this rich resource. Charlie Camosy is Associate Professor of Theological and Social Ethics at Fordham University, where he has taught since finishing his PhD in theology at Notre Dame in 2008

university ethics, fundamental moral theology; history of theological ethics; Thomas Aquinas; virtue ethics; James F. Keenan, . EDUCATION STL, STD, Gregorian University, Rome MDiv, Weston Jesuit School of Theology, Cambridge, MA BA, Fordham University, New York.

university ethics, fundamental moral theology; history of theological ethics; Thomas Aquinas; virtue ethics; James F. BIOGRAPHICAL SUMMARY. Jim Keenan has been a Jesuit of the New York Province since 1970 and an ordained priest since 1982. university ethics, fundamental moral theology; history of theological ethics; Thomas Aquinas; virtue ethics; HIV/AIDS; Church leadership ethics.

This is an historical survey of 20th Century Roman Catholic Theological Ethics (also known as moral theology)

This is an historical survey of 20th Century Roman Catholic Theological Ethics (also known as moral theology). The thesis is that only through historical investigation can we really understand how the most conservative and negative field in Catholic theology at the beginning of the 20th could become by the end of the 20th century the most innovative one. The 20th century begins with moral manuals being translated into the vernacular.

20th Century Philosophy. History of Western Philosophy, Misc. Similar books and articles. Anne E. Patrick - 1996 - Continuum. Philosophical Traditions. Gathered for the Journey: Moral Theology in Catholic Perspective. Method and Catholic Moral Theology: The Ongoing Reconstruction. Todd A. Salzman (e. - 1999 - Creighton University Press. History and Contemporary Issues: Studies in Moral Theology. Charles E. Curran - 1996 - Continuum. Christian Ethics: Moral Theology in the Light of Vatican Ii. Karl H. Peschke - 1997 - C. Goodliffe Neale. Morality: The Catholic View.

James F Keenan has crafted an insightful narrative reflecting the contributions of multiple theologians associated with moral theology during the past century. The classical manuals of moral theology from the first half of the century, represented by the writings of Thomas Slater, Henry Davis, and Heribert Jone, serve as the base point against which the contributions of subsequent moral theologians are assessed.

Background The moral manualists Initiating reform : Odon Lottin Retrieving Scripture and charity : Fritz Tillman and Ge?rard Gilleman Synthesis : Bernard Ha?ring The neo-manualists New foundations for moral reasoning, 1970-89 New foundations for a theological anthropology, 1980-2000.

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This is an historical survey of 20th Century Roman Catholic Theological Ethics (also known as moral theology). The thesis is that only through historical investigation can we really understand how the most conservative and negative field in Catholic theology at the beginning of the 20th could become by the end of the 20th century the most innovative one. The 20th century begins with moral manuals being translated into the vernacular. After examining the manuals of Thomas Slater and Henry Davis, Keenan then turns to three works and a crowning synthesis of innovation all developed before, during and soon after the Second World War. The first by Odon Lottin asks whether moral theology is adequately historical; Fritz Tillmann asks whether it's adequately biblical; and Gerard Gilleman, whether it's adequately spiritual. Bernard Haering integrates these contributions into his Law of Christ. Of course, people like Gerald Kelly and John Ford in the US are like a few moralists elsewhere, classical gate keepers, censoring innovation. But with Humanae vitae, and successive encyclicals, bishops and popes reject the direction of moral theologians. At the same time, moral theologians, like Josef Fuchs, ask whether the locus of moral truth is in continuous, universal teachings of the magisterium or in the moral judgment of the informed conscience. In their move toward a deeper appreciation of their field as forming consciences, they turn more deeply to local experience where they continue their work of innovation. Each continent subsequently gives rise to their own respondents: In Europe they speak of autonomy and personalism; in Latin America, liberation theology; in North America, Feminism and Black Catholic theology; and, in Asia and Africa a deep post-colonial interculturatism. At the end I assert that in its nature, theological ethics is historical and innovative, seeking moral truth for the conscience by looking to speak crossculturally.


Reviews about A History of Catholic Moral Theology in the Twentieth Century: From Confessing Sins to Liberating Consciences (5):
Saithinin
James Keenan is one of the foremost theologians of moral theology. I always look for his articles and books.
Cae
The book is true to its subtitle, "Liberating Consciences." I have found myself for many years thinking about the importance of conscience in my decision making. I found it liberating to find out that Catholic moral theologians in good standing have been moving for the last half of the 20th century in a similar direction. Doing moral theology from the person rather than from abstract principles.
Madis
Let me say first of all that I have enjoyed Fr. Keenan's other books such as "Ethics of the Word," "Moral Wisdom" and "The Works of Mercy." These are books on morality/moral theology that Catholics from all walks of life can appreciate and put into practice. However I cannot recommend this book.

"History of Catholic Moral Theology..." reads more like an newspaper op-ed piece with references than a balanced view of history. For example in Fr. Keenan's discussion of the the third volume of Haring's text "The Law of Christ" he mentions the 30 pages that Haring devotes to sins against chastity. If he had presented just the facts it would be fine. But at the end of his discussion he adds "Yet, we cannot but wonder as to how much social control the clergy's teachings had over the sexual lives of its lay members that such a plethora of concerns is examined." What does this conjecture have to do with history? Fr. Keenan repeats this style of writing over and over again throughout the book.

According to Fr. Keenan, "the Church has no settled, coherent, or consistent moral teaching on masturbation, homosexuality, abortion, or contraception. "These historical investigations," he writes, "have served as correctives and repudiate the manualist's general claim regarding the unchangeability of moral truth."

Really? Wow. Does Fr. Keenan really mean what he writes? Is the sanctity of innocent life a changeable moral truth? Was abortion at one time morally acceptable, has only now become morally wrong, and perhaps may in the future become acceptable again? It is not surprising that the magisterium of the Catholic Church has distanced itself from the specious morality that prevails in the moral theology represented by Fr. Keenan. When one rules out unchangeable moral truth, one is left with changeable truth, something that can be endlessly reshaped based solely on one's own subjective moral compass.

The book comes off as a "First the earth cooled, then a light appeared in the form of Vatican II, then Fr. Keenan and his band of merry cohorts came to spread joy throughout the land.." where Fr. Keenan dismisses any thoughts that he does not agree with. Should one discount conscience as a moral guide? Certainly not; the Catholic Cathecism itself notes its importance as it calls out well-formed conscience as "...upright and truthful...man strives to interpret the data of experience and the signs of the times assisted by the virtue of prudence, by the advice of competent people, and by the help of the Holy Spirit and his gifts." For more on conscience in the Catholic Cathecism, see sections 1783-1802. Conscience informed not in isolation is the best approach; however it appears to this reader that conscience alone is the preferred approach of Fr. Keenan. This is not in keeping with the "Both...and" approach to theology that I was taught as a Catholic!

Fr. Keenan has a definite passion for what he believes, as his other works testify. I personally believe that Fr. Keenan comes at things with an attitude of love and charity, which is the mark of any good Jesuit (or Christian for that matter). But history is neither loving nor charitable. It is just the facts (ma'am). Fr. Keenan's conjecture and opinions make this book of poor merit IMO. I can appreciate the challenge for anyone to leave one's emotions at the door when talking about a subject one believes passionately in, as Fr. Keenan obviously does. However Fr. Charles Curran is able to set his opinions aside for the most part in his book "Catholic Moral Theology In The United States: A History." If one is looking for less partisanship and a more balanced view of history, this is the book you should read/buy.
romrom
Charles Camosy (Fordham University), writing at catholicmoraltheology.com, says that this title is "destined to become a classic of historical moral theology." I see no reason to dispute that assessment.

Keenan's book is a clear outgrowth of a doctoral seminar he has taught at Boston College, so this could be a difficult book for beginners.

What you won't find--Keenan clearly states: "I restricted my investigation to fundamental moral theology, which concerns conscience, sin, love, virtue, authority, etc. I had to omit, therefore, all the areas of applied ethics: social, sexual, medical, and corporate ethics."

This should be considered a reference book which supplies a who's who of major and not-so-major figures from the US, Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asia, as well as feminist and black moral theologians. It briefly assesses their contributions within the context of an evolution (sometimes painful) to what Keenan sees as a focus on self as a moral agent, and away from an emphasis on the acts of self. Keenan sees this as a "democratization of moral decision-making."

Keenan's approach is consistent with his high regard for his mentor, Josef Fuchs (1912-2005). Fuchs, Bernard Haring, and Louis Janssens were the basic architects of the moral theology coming out of Vatican II. Fuchs went on to draft the birth control commission majority report which was summarily and arbitrarily contravened by Pope Paul VI. On p. 124 we find this summation of Fuchs: "Fuchs not only changed the locus of moral competency but also democratized the process of determining the morally right. For at least the past five centuries, the laity sought moral guidance not in the manualists' particular norms but in the judgments of their confessors... With Fuchs the individual agent is herself understood to be more competent to judge specifically about the course of moral action that she should take."

Keenan appropriates part of his subtitle from the progressive feminist moral theologian Anne Patrick's "wonderful book" Liberating Conscience: Feminist Explorations in Catholic Moral Theology. He says that Patrick "disputes the classical paradigm of Catholic moral theology; she notes... its intolerance of circumstances and particularity..., and its promotion of moral objectivity as universal and unchangeable." This "inhibits the original competency of the individual conscience." (p. 113) (My own Amazon review can be found at the Liberating Conscience: Feminist Explorations in Catholic Moral Theology entry.)
post_name
It has been quite a while since I read any work explicitly devoted to moral theology, dating back I think to the pursuit of my own theology degree in the late 1960s. But since the topic interests me as someone who has worked for the church for many years, and the book's historical method is one I trust, when I saw a favorable view in "America" and noticed the provocative subtitle ("From Confessing Sins to liberating Consciences"), I ordered a copy. So glad I did. The book is incredible! Its scope is spellbinding and its depth is impressive, although fortunately Keenan's prose is very accessible. His work has inspired me to read a host of books he mentions and to chase down an issue of the Irish Theological Quarterly (God help me!). So my "Wish List" has grown by leaps and bounds. More important, if I never read another book, I am coming away from this one as a Catholic layman much more informed about the history and nature of the church's moral teaching in the 20th century, as well as in the many earlier centuries since Jesus first cultivated disciples and told them to cultivate more. Finally, I better understand the stirrings in my own heart as I came of age in the last half of the 20th century wondering what God, our Life-Giver (not once, but in each moment) was asking of me. Thank you, James F. Keenan, SJ.

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