Fundamental Moral Theology


45 hours
TM 102

A. Course Description

This course aims to help students grasp basic foundations in Catholic moral theology, which are necessary for further understanding of moral issues in other specific fields of morality. The first part introduces the understanding of contemporary moral theology and its progressive history. The second part focuses on basic foundations such as methodology, the roles of the Bible, Tradition and Magisterium, Natural Laws in moral theology. Then the course explores the understanding of the human person with human dignity, freedom, the ultimate aim and vocation of human life, moral conscience, and different moral principles and arguments. The course ends with the insistence on the growth of human person through virtues.

B. Course Format and Evaluation

  • Reading assigned materials before classes, lecture/input, discussion and individual and group presentations.
  • Expectation of competences in reading, presentation, and writing: Comprehensive, Critical, Creative
  • The final course grade will be computed as follows: class participation (10%); Oral presentation (20%); Final Examination (70%)

C. Readings & References

  • The Catechism of the Catholic Church. Selections
  • Jean Paul II, Encyclical Veritatis Splendor
  • Richard Gula, Reason Informed By Faith (New York: Paulist Press, 1989).
  • Bernard Häring , Free and Faithful in Christ,
  • James Keenan SJ and Daniel J. Harrington S.J. Jesus and Virtue Ethics: Building Bridges Between New Testament Studies and Moral Theology, Chicago, Illinois: Sheed and Ward, 2002.
  • James F. Keenan, S.J. Virtues for Ordinary Christians.
  • Karl H. Peschke, Christian Ethics, Vol I “General Moral Theology”, ed. C. Goodliffe Neale, Alcester and Dublin 1986.
  • Trần Như Ý Lan, “Luật Tiệm Tiến”, Hiệp Thông,105 (Mar/April 2018)
  • Some hand-outs