Skip Navigation
 
 

Moral Theology


MORL 501 Fundamental Moral Theology I (3)
This course treats fundamental moral theology by tracing its unfolding history from the foundations in the Word of God and the Fathers of the Church through the developments made by key contributors and movements including St. Augustine, St. Anselm, St. Thomas Aquinas, and the manualists up to the status of moral theology on the eve of the Second Vatican Council. The course has two distinguishable foci. The first is the development and emergence of key themes and authors, particularly the Synoptic Gospels, St. Augustine, the pre-scholastics and Trent. The second focus is on the particular contributions of St. Thomas Aquinas and to key elements of his moral thought in the Summa Theologiae. Study of St. Thomas will include: his conception of human fulfillment, human action, more detailed examination of his virtue-focused view of Christian morality that entails the Gifts and Fryuits of the Holy Spirit and the Beatitudes, his understanding of sin, his perspective on law and morality, and grace and morality. Required for the S.T.B., M.Div., and M.A. (theology) degree programs.

MORL 502 Fundamental Moral Theology II (3)
This course builds on MORL 501 Fundamental Moral Theology I and turns to modern and contemporary Catholic Moral Theology. We will examine debates over the huamn act, fundamental option theory, teleologism and proportionalism and so called "responsible dissent." We will also briefly explore the contribution of the :"new natural law theory," the "rediscovery of Thomas and virtue ethics," and liberation theology as a moral theory. Our anchor text will be Veritatis Splendor and the Catechism of the Catholic Church. The course will conclude with a look at principles of cooperation, double effect, conscience and the formation of conscience, sin (personal and social) and questions of moral culpability. Required for the S.T.B. and M.Div. degree programs, and for Moral Theology concentrators in the M.A. (theology) degree program.

MORL 602 Justice and the Social Teachings of the Church (3)
Magisterial teaching on social justice, with special attention to the central themes and principles of that doctrine, as applicable globally and to the American scene in particular, so as to enable the future priest to be an advocate for justice. The course includes the commutative justice and potential parts of justice, with attention to the just war and capital punishment teachings. Attention is also given to the use of the media, and to art and morality. Required for the S.T.B. and M.Div. degree programs, and for Moral Theology concentrators in the M.A. (theology) degree program.

MORL 801 Catholic Medical and Sexual Morality (3)
This fourth year core course and S.T.B. requirement examines in detail and applies Catholic moral teaching on issues of medical and sexual morality to the concrete questions of our own day. The major documents of the Holy See will be reviewed and arguments presented to equip students to summarize, explain and defend the Church's teaching on medical ethics and on the requirements of chastity for unmarried and homosexual persons. Particular attention is paid to the norms and arguments supportive of the norms of the most recent edition of the USCCB "Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services" and the norms and arguments supportive of the norms of Catholic magisterial teaching on respect for human life and human sexuality. Required for the S.T.B. and M.Div. degree programs, and for Moral Theology concentrators in the M.A. (theology) degree program.

MORL 802 Sacrament of Marriage and Pastoral Care (3)
This course provides a theology of marriage that emphasizes both its natural goodness and its sacramentality. This theology is anchored in Sacred Scripture and Tradition, and serves as the context for a treatment of conjugal morality. In the first portion of the course, students will review the historical and theological developments pertaining to the sacrament of marriage, beginning with its biblical roots. The development of the sacrament of marriage then is traced: from its patristic era, through the Council of Trent, to key magisterial documents of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Additionally, this course equips students for marriage preparation and to offer pastoral care to engaged couples, married couples and their families. Required for the S.T.B., M.Div., and M.A. (theology) degree programs.

Elective Courses

M.A. (Theology) degree candidates concentrating in Moral Theology, concomitant with the elective requirement, take an additional one-credit directed research course for inclusion in the Research Projects Portfolio required for the degree.

MORL 906 Survey of U.S. Catholic Moral Theologians (2)
Review and appraisal of post-conciliar fundamental moral theologians such as Lisa Sowle Cahill, Charles Curran, Richard Gula, William E. May, Germain Grisez, Kenneth and Michael Himes, Richard A. McCormick, Jean Porter and others in light of Veritatis Splendor. Required for all M.A. (theology) concentrators in Moral Theology.

MORL 907 Readings from the Summa I (3)
The course will be a reading of the 1a2ae (First Part of the Second Part) of St. Thomas Aquinas’ Summa Theologiae. It concerns the beginning of the reditus to God: man’s last end, and in detail how man is particularly endowed by nature and grace to journey to his goal. Attention is given to the structure of the human act, the passions in particular, and habits. Required for the S.T.B. degree program, and for Moral Theology concentrators in the M.A. (theology) degree program.

MORL 908  Readings from the Summa II (3 or 2)
The course is a continuation of the Summa, 2a2ae. Though useful, MORL 907 is not a prerequisite. The course deals with the theological and infused moral virtues, with their integral, subjective and potential parts. Special charisms and the states of life are also included. Required for the S.T.B. degree program, and may fulfill an elective requirement for Moral Theology concentrators in the M.A. (theology) degree program.

 
16300 Old Emmitsburg Road | Emmitsburg, MD 21727
Map & Directions | admissions@msmary.edu | 301-447-6122
Frederick Campus | 5350 Spectrum Drive | Frederick, MD 21703
Map & Directions | inquiry@msmary.edu | 301-682-8315