Theological Ethics

THL326 / THL493

This subject explores the connections between Christian theology and practice, philosophical and theological ethics, and ethical discernment in contemporary society. It examines the biblical, theological, ecclesial, philosophical and scientific resources for Christian ethical reflection and action. Distinctive features of Christian ethical reflection, moral judgements and moral practices are surveyed from various theological and historical perspectives. The subject also considers a range of ethical issues from areas such as politics, economics, war, the environment, medicine and sexuality.


Duration

One Semester

Availability

Semester 2 every even year

Subject Points

8

Core/Elective

Elective

Delivery Mode

On site at St Francis College Milton

Prerequisites

THL111, THL113 and TH215 (recommended)

To be confirmed annually as the subject is offered

Prescribed Texts


To be confirmed annually as the subject is offered

Assessments


Content

This subject will cover the following topics:

  • Part I: Is there a Christian ethic? Topics include: the nature of theological ethics; the formation of the moral self, including the relationship between ethics and spirituality; and ethics, practice and Christian community.

  • Part II: Sources of theological ethics in the Christian tradition, including: Scripture; ecclesial community and practice (including liturgical practices, tradition); philosophical theories of ethics and their relationship to Christian approaches; and the role of the empirical sciences.

  • Part III: Discerning a Christian ethic in the contemporary world, including topics from the following areas: politics, public theology; biotechnology and medicine, conceptions of the human person; war, violence, evil and suffering; the environment, justice and consumption; and sexuality.


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:

  • be able to give a critical account of the theoretical nature of theological ethics;

  • be able to identify and reflect critically upon key biblical, theological, ecclesial, philosophical and scientific resources for Christian ethical discernment and action;

  • be able to identify the main features of the Christian tradition of moral and ethical argument;

  • be able to apply the resources of Christian theology and ethical thought to a range of contemporary issues, and to articulate a coherent response;

  • be able to reflect critically on their own ethical judgements; and

  • be able to demonstrate self-guided learning, including advanced research, writing and communication skills.