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By Charles E. Curran

Charles E. Curran provides the 1st in-depth research of the origins of Catholic ethical theology within the usa, targeting 3 major figures within the overdue 19th century and demonstrating that methodological pluralism and theological variety existed within the Church even then. Curran starts off by means of tracing the ancient improvement of ethical theology, specifically as provided in nineteenth-century manuals of ethical theology, which provided a criminal version of morality together with a heavy emphasis on canon legislation. He then probes the several methods and ideas of 3 very important writers: Aloysius Sabetti, a Jesuit who was once a customary, in addition to the main influential, American manualist; Thomas J. Bouquillon, first chair of ethical theology at Catholic college of the US, a neoscholastic who criticized the manuals' technique as slender and incomplete for failing to deal with ideas, virtues, and the relationship to systematic theology; and clerical educator John B. Hogan, a casuist who built a extra inductive and traditionally awake method. Curran describes how all 3 males dealt in numerous methods with the expanding position of authoritative teachings in ethical theology from the Vatican. He additionally indicates how they mirrored their American context and the perspectives in their personal time on ladies and sexuality. So little realization has been paid to the advance of ethical theology during this kingdom that those authors are unknown to many students. Curran's e-book corrects this oversight and proposes that the ferment published of their writings bargains very important classes for modern Catholic ethical theology.

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The Institutiones, unlike the alphabetical Summas of an earlier time, did attempt to give some minimal theoretical basis to their approach, but the theoretical was very thin and totally subordinated to the pastoral and practical purposes of the manuals. The new type of moral theology with its important but narrow focus became cut off from all other aspects of theology. Dogmatic theology no longer interacted with moral theology. Separation at times might be necessary to achieve particular purposes, but moral theology now became totally isolated from the broader theological enterprise.

Seminaries were instituted for the training of priests. 37 The Institutiones theologiae moralis, a new genre of moral theology which later became known as the manuals of moral theology, came into existence within the Society of Jesus at this time immediately after Trent. The Society of Jesus founded by Ignatius of Loyola received its canonical establishment in 1540. The Jesuits established the Roman College before the Council of Trent as a preparation for priesthood. The Jesuits made the administration of the sacrament of penance a primary ministry of the society and proposed a two year course to prepare future priests to hear confessions.

6 I was the first contemporary moral theologian to analyze and criticize in detail the social ethics of John A. Ryan, the primary figure in Catholic social ethics in the first half of the twentieth century. 8 Through Ryan I became interested in Bouquillon. Then the project broadened and I determined to do something in fundamental moral theology corresponding to what I had done in Catholic social ethics. This development explains my personal interest in the present project. Page xii One cannot understand and evaluate Catholic moral theology in the United States in the late nineteenth century without some knowledge of the history of moral theology in general and of the circumstances of the nineteenth century.

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