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A History of Catholic Theological Ethics

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An introduction to Catholic theological ethics through the lens of its historical development from the beginning of the church until today.

Starting with the Scriptures, and in particular the New Testament, the author looks at the inspiration and foundational values and virtues that emerge from its moral instruction.

This is a comprehensive study of every period in the history of the tradition, from the early Patristic period to the history of the Penitentials and Confessionals, to the founding of religious orders and universities, the emergence of scholasticism, the birth of modern casuistry, the Council of Trent and the subsequent moral manuals, to contemporary Reformers within the Global Church.

“The task of writing a history of moral theology is daunting. James Keenan has written a superb history. The breadth and depth of this work are stunning. The narrative is clear, logically developed, and convincing. We are all in his debt.”
—Charles Curran. author, Sixty Years of Moral Theology (Paulist Press, 2021)

“James F. Keenan, SJ, is among the most important Catholics in the world today writing on theological ethics. In this book, he displays his dazzling knowledge of the breadth of the Catholic tradition as it stretches from the New Testament to the present, and he combines that knowledge with compelling insights into its relevance for our times. Indispensable for the professional, the book is, despite its great learning, accessible to the general reader. I congratulate James Keenan on the landmark achievement of A History of Catholic Theological Ethics.”
—John W. O’Malley, SJ, University Professor Emeritus, Georgetown University

“The inimitable James Keenan has provided us with another moral-theological tour de force—surfacing twenty centuries of theological innovation in a tradition better known for its attachments to the past. Carried by Keenan’s signature themes of mercy, conscience, spirituality, and virtue, this history moves ever forward into the diversity of perspectives, emergence of women, and reverse of direction from the local to the universal, that characterize this century’s global church. This far-reaching and learned work will educate, stimulate, and provoke, all in a highly readable style with existential power.”
—Lisa Sowle Cahill, Donald Monan, SJ, Professor of Theology, Boston College

ISBN: 978-15876-8942-0

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