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A Textbook of Moral Theology

Author: Benedict M. Ashley, OP
Copyright: 1996
First Printed: 07-23-1996
Reprints: 2004

Theology is an effort to listen attentively to what God has to say to us, because God is wiser than we are and more concerned for us than we are for ourselves. In trying to understand and apply what God says to us, we must use our God-given intelligence and with it all the information and scientific analysis which human intelligence has made available to us to date. But we must not allow this merely human wisdom to drown out the voice of God, even when that voice frightens us or exposes the folly of our human ways of thinking and acting. Moral theology is truly theology. It is, therefore, not simply the application of philosophy, sociology, or psychology to the way we act or ought to act as human beings made in the image and likeness of God. It finds its roots in the moral instruction contained in Sacred Scriptures as understood in the light of the Spirit-guided Tradition of the Church. Following the way indicated in The Splendor of Truth (Veritatis Splendor) by Pope John Paul II and embodied in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, this textbook in moral theology returns to the sources, to Scripture and Tradition which maintain the universality and permanence of the moral law, and seeks to apply that law to the changed and changing circumstances of our own times.

About the Author: Benedict M. Ashley, OP, professor at the Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, is a highly respected author of several texts and countless articles on moral theology, including Choosing a World-View and Value-System (Alba House, 2000), Theologies of the Body: Humanist and Christian (Pope John Center, 1985) and, with Kevin D. O'Rourke, OP,Healthcare Ethics: A Theological Analysis (Catholic Health Association of the United States, 1989). A consultant for the Committee on Doctrine of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops and a senior fellow of the Pope John Center of Medical Ethics in Boston, Mass., he has served as Aquinas lecturer at the Center for Thomistic Studies in Houston, and as Aquinas lecturer at the University of Dallas. He was recently honored with the Pro Ecclesiaet Pontifice medal from Pope John Paul II.

Book: 572 pages
ISBN-10: 0-8189-0756-8
ISBN-13: 978-0-8189-0756-2
Prod. Code: 0756-8



"Convinced of the unity of faith and morality as indicated in the Catechism (1992) and the encyclical, Veritatis Splendor (1993), Father Ashley has attempted and succeeded in presenting a complete work of moral theology. Unlike the framework or outline of the Commandments, true to his Dominican tradition, all of morality is presented in the framework of the virtues -- theological and moral. He does this with conscious reliance on the new Catechism(mostly in footnotes) and massive reliance on Holy Scripture (in the text proper). Because it is so biblical, this textbook-reference book can be very helpful for preaching on moral topics. My only caution is that the subtitle says it is an 'introduction.' It is that for sure, but much, much more than that." --Msgr. William B. Smith, St. Joseph's Seminary, Dunwoodie, New York


"...Ashley has provided us a marvelous study of a moral theology solidly rooted in Scripture. Neatly integrating material from The Catechism of the Catholic Church and Veritatis splendor, his book... offers a solid panoramic view of Catholic moral theology." -- William E. May in The Thomist, January 1, 1998


"If one is looking for a good, comprehensive, one-volume English introduction to a Catholic understanding of moral theology that is solidly rooted in the indispensable sources of Scripture and Tradition and is faithful to the constant teaching of the Church, then at the present time one will not find a better book than Living the Truth in Love." --Dominican Ashram, December 1997

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