A journal of academic theology

James F. Keenan S.J.

Redeeming Conscience

Since the final report of the extraordinary synod of 2014 made no mention of conscience, this note proposes a notion of a socially oriented and accountable conscience as opposed to the contemporary understanding of the term “conscience” among US Catholics, that is, as dissenting from the law. Turning to the European use of “conscience” that


This note, extended into an article to commemorate Vatican II, argues that any study of the council and theological ethics must attend to World War II’s devastating impact on the field. The war moved European ethicists to repudiate the three centuries of moral manuals and propose a theological ethics based on conscience acting out of

• Notes on Moral Theology •: Living the Truth: Fundamental Theological Ethics

At the 2009 convention of the Catholic Theological Society of America, the author advocated for a more rhetorically robust and closer-to-the-truth style in theological ethics. In this note, he examines those works that embody that style by capturing the urgency and immediacy of moral truth as lived in the lives of contemporary Christians. In particular,

What Happened at Trento 2010?

From July 24 to 27, 2010, some 600 theological ethicists from nearly 75 countries met in Trento, Italy, under the auspices of Catholic Theological Ethics in the World Church. There they heard 30 plenary papers and opted to attend more than 240 concurrent presentations. This note studies the roots, mission, context, goals, and nature of

The Open Debate: Moral Theology and the Lives of Gay and Lesbian Persons

[In this final section of the Notes on Moral Theology the author explores the extensive work of Catholic moral theologians reflecting on morality and the lives of gay and lesbian persons. He demonstrates that moral theologians not only critically engage a variety of statements by the different offices of the magisterium, but also investigate the

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