Friday, September 08, 2006

In defense of casuistry

I recall reading an article by a traditionalist (not sure where--was it online? I can't find anything through yahoo and google, and I'm not sure if I've saved it somewhere...). It was a defense of the 19th century moral theology manuals and of casuistry. I think it would be uncontroversial to claim that there is a place for moral casuistry today, whether it be by the confessor or by someone whose advice is being sought. What else is the dealing of difficult (or not-so-difficult) particular cases than casuistry? Is the problem primarily the reduction of moral theology to casuistry? Can the art be integrated into the larger schema of a virtues-based moral theology?

Dr. Thomas Fleming has studied the ethics of St. Alphonsus Liguori and recommends it for those wishing to learn Catholic moral theology.

Edit. Ite ad Thomam
Edit. (9/1/11) The Ite ad Thomam post is no longer available, but has been copied elsewhere. And, more recently, St. Alphonsus's Theologia Moralis: The Magisterially-Guaranteed Manual of Casuistry.

Raphael Gallagher, CSsR.(Religion and in the Social and Cultural Development of Ireland)

Casuistry--A Summary by Jeramy Townsley
The Abuse of Casuistry: A History of Moral Reasoning

Misc Links:
Servais Pinckaers, "The Place of Philosophy in Moral Theology"
Livio Melina. Christ and the Dynamism of Action. Communio Spring, 2001
Philokalia Republic
Peter Kwasniewski CV ("William of Ockham and the Metaphysical Roots of Natural Law")
Michael Waldstein CV ("The Common Good in St. Thomas and John Paul II," "Dietrich von Hildebrand and St. Thomas Aquinas on Goodness and Happiness," interview)
Stephen Long, "Charity and Justice: Christian Economy and the Just Ordering of the Commandments" (alt)
Cardinal Ratzinger, "Relativism: The Central Problem for Faith Today"
Alfred J. Freddoso's site
Christopher Kaczor's review of Moral Theology in an Age of Renewal
Anthony Kelly, CssR, A Trinitarian Moral Theology
Augustine DiNoia, O.P., "Imago Dei-Imago Christi"
Michael Hull, "Schools of Thought in Contemporary Moral Theology"
Notes, Analysis of the Moral Act, A Proposal


Note to self:
Ralph McInerny, "On natural law and natural rights"
(see also McInerny, Ralph. "Natural Law and Human Rights." American Journal of Jurisprudence 36 (1991): 1–14)
His review of What We Can't Know
(Found through search results at for natural law morality)

Pinckaers, "The Recovery of the New Law in Moral Theology," Irish Theological Quarterly 64.1 (Spring 1999).

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