Summary: A college text with discussion questions and readings that analyzes all the foundational problems of Christian ethics as aspects of the human effort to love others. In this basic study on morality, James P. Hanigan suggests the reasons why a Christian morality is necessary to complement the teaching of Jesus in the Gospels. As I Have Loved You presents the problems, procedures and insights of moral theology, or Christian ethics, from the perspective of a Roman Cat
holic theologian. He examines the significant impact on the understanding of faith and morality of the changes introduced by Vatican Council II: religious freedom, the sanctity and inviolability of the individual conscience, greater social freedom and justice, and a renewed emphasis on the importance of the Bible. Feeling that people's confusion need not be as great as it sometimes is, Dr. Hanigan presents in this book a clear overview of a consistent and coherent tradition of moral thought and reflection. Students at all levels of college study, educated adults, and professional ministers seeking updating will find this to be a challenging book.
Summary: A college text with discussion questions and readings that analyzes all the foundational problems of Christian ethics as aspects of the human effort to love others. In this basic study on morality, James P. Hanigan suggests the reasons why a Christian morality is necessary to complement the teaching of Jesus in the Gospels. As I Have Loved You presents the problems, procedures and insights of moral theology, or Christian ethics, from the perspective of a Roman Catholic theologian. He examines the significant impact on the understanding of faith and morality of the changes introduced by Vatican Council II: religious freedom, the sanctity and inviolability of the individual conscience, greater social freedom and justice, and a renewed emphasis on the importance of the Bible. Feeling that people's confusion need not be as great as it sometimes is, Dr. Hanigan presents in this book a clear overview of a consistent and coherent tradition of moral thought and reflection. Students at all levels of college study, educated adults, and professional ministers seeking updating will find this to be a challenging book. ...show less
Edition/Copyright:86 Cover: Paperback Publisher:Paulist Press Published: 01/28/1986 International: No
Two historic events, both of which occurred during the tumultuous decade of the 1960s, stand out as significant landmarks for American Catholics. While the impact of these events was certainly felt far beyond the confines of American Catholicism, the events themselves are helpful in enabling American Catholics to get their bearings as they try to under- stand their relationship to the numerous moral per- plexities of the present day. The two events were the Second Vatican Council which ended in 1965 and the publication of Pope Paul Vi's encyclical letter, Humanae Vitae, in 1968 on the topic of birth control. The Second Vatican Council introduced many people to the fact of change in the Church and in the understanding of the Christian faith. For some people, change was merely a confirmation of their expectations and hopes. They found themselves unsurprised by change and generally comfortable with it. But for many others the fact of change was a shock and a bewilderment. To be sure, many of the actual changes resulting from the decrees of the Council were only cosmetic, not directly touching the substance of the faith and its ethical practice. Altars turned to face the congregation; Mass said in the language of the people; Communion received in the hand or under the forms of both bread and wine; nuns and priests frequently appearing in public in secular garb; confession made in a lighted room face to face with the priest; growing numbers of lay men and women actively assuming the roles of lector, eucharistic minister, catechist, liturgical director or prayer leader - these and other similar changes may well have affected the tastes and religious sensi- bilities of millions of people, but they did not directly alter the content of their religious beliefs or moral convictions. But other changes introduced by the Council, not so immediately visible and so less noticed, had a more substantial and significant impace on the under- standing of faith and the practice of morality. Four of these changes are of particular concern to a study of Catholic and Christian morality. The first change, and perhaps the most momentous, was the Council's reversal of traditional Roman Catholic teaching on religious freedom in its decree Dignitatis Humanae (DH). Whereas formerly the Church officially denied any such right of religious freedom to the individual person, the Council now affirmed religious freedom to be an inalienable right rooted in human dignity. It was declared to be a moral right which ought also to be a civil right (DH 2). A second, related change was the Council's emphasis in the decree Gaudium et Spes (GS) on the sanctity and nviolability of the individual conscience (GS 16-17). Taken together, these two changes introduced an acceptance of and support for human individuality and social pluralism that had once seemed alien to an authoritative and uniform Church. More concretely, these two changes have led to a Churach more clearly marked by vocal dissent and a variety of competing views of the morality of any number of previously agreed upon issues. Practices like divorce and remarriage, abortion, euthanasia, sterilization, participation in war, test-tube babies, pre-marital sex, and the proper social role of men and women are all hotly debated and disputed issues among Christians of every denomination, including Roman Catholics. A third important change introduced by the Council was its concern for and attention to the aspirations of the peoples of the world for greater social freedom and justice (GS 1). This change, supported and intensified since the Council by Popes, synods and regional conferences of bishops, shifted the moral attention of many Catholics away from moral questions of personal behavior to larger questions of social justice and social responsibility. The rights of women and minorities, economic justice, control of nuclear weapons, and defense of the unborn through constitutional amendment seemed to have become the central issues on the moral agenda of the Church and many of its members. While this shift of moral attention dismayed some people and delighted others, its major effect was to confuse many. There was also a fourth change introduced by the Council: a new emphasis, or more accurately a renewed emphasis, on the importance of the Bible for both Catholic piety and Catholic theology. The Catholic faithful in general and Catholic theologians in particular were urged to make the sacred Scriptures the major source nourishing their minds and hearts. This was especially emphasized for those who practice the discipline of moral theology or Christian ethics. Special care should be given to the perfecting of moral theology. Its scientific presention should draw more fully on the teaching of holy Scripture and should throw light on the exalted vocation of the faithful in Christ and their obligation to bring forth fruit in charity for the life of the world (Optatam totius 16). Ironically, this immersion in the teaching of holy Scripture as the primary source of moral theology does not seem to have produced a new unity in moral conviction and practice. It has spawned new de- bates about the proper use of Scripture for moral decision-making. It does not seem to be all that clear as to just what the Scriptures do and do not say about the moral existence of the Christian believer. The second major event, the publication of Humanae Vitae, stands in sharp contrast to the decrees of the Council in at least one respect. The encyclical does not introduce or advocate change in the Church or even an openness to the new trends and aspirations of people in the secular world. On the contrary, it stands against change and the desires of many contemporaries for a new view of human sexuality and for more convenient and effective methods of birth control. The letter reiterates in unmistakable clear language a traditional Catholic moral teaching that could be expressed in the form of a specific moral prohibition: ''Thou shalt not practice artificial contraception for any reason''. Needless to say, the encyclical generated a hitherto unknown degree of..... (continued in the Introduction of the book).
View Author Bio
Hanigan, James P. : Duquesne University
James P. Hanigan is a native of New York City. He holds A.B. and M.A. degrees in History from Fordham University, an M.Div. from Woodstock College, and a Ph.D. in Religion from Duke University. He has taught at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Villa Maria College in Erie, Pennsylvania and is currently associate professor of Moral Theology at Duquesne University, Pittsburgh.
View Table of Contents
1. The Problems of Christian Ethics 2. Faith and Practice 3. The Person as Moral Agent 4. The Moral Agent in Community 5. The Reality of Sin 6. The Reality of Conscience 7. Love and Moral Rules 8. The Natural Moral Law 9. The Counsels of Perfection: A Path to Love 10. No Longer Servants, But Friends
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