Shaping the Moral Life: An Approach to Moral Theology

Shaping the Moral Life: An Approach to Moral Theology

Shaping the Moral Life: An Approach to Moral Theology

Shaping the Moral Life: An Approach to Moral Theology

Excerpt

The study of moral theology often is a problem for the interested person. The reasons for this situation are many and various. The first undeniably has to do with the increasing complexity of the field itself. At this level, moral theology shares the fate of all other scientific disciplines: Questions multiply because it has become more difficult to grasp the many facets of our life. It is not surprising that students may fail to achieve a comprehensive grasp of the subject matter; therefore, it is essential to provide them with an introduction that serves as a path in the thicket of the field. This introduction represents a starting point for students of moral theology; its goal is to sustain their efforts and focus their attention on the main theoretical issues.

The multiplication of problems is not the only source of difficulties, however. There are different ways to do moral theology and to understand its status as a science of faith in relation to the Church. Indeed, the public image of this theological discipline is anything but homogeneous, and one can hardly find unanimity. It is not wrong to speak of a pluralism of theologies; our discipline more acutely reflects this situation, for it is the closest to life. As a result, one can find different styles of thought grounded in quite different philosophical starting points. Anyone who wants to study moral theology today must be equipped with a profound philosophical culture. Some students of moral theology may find the task disconcerting, however, because the necessary philosophical preparation is quite difficult!

The aforementioned difficulties should not lead to an attitude of resignation; on the contrary, they should be taken up by all theological disciplines as their central challenge. Situations of crisis can also generate some good. One can only desire that theology students will become aware of the need for a wide theological culture that is coherent in itself and open to dialogue at the . . .

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