Course Descriptions - Moral Theology

The Cross

The Cross


MT 531 Fundamental Moral Theology 3 credits

Introduction to the basic principles of morality in the Roman Catholic tradition.  The history of moral theology, foundational concepts, and methodologies for moral discernment. Particular attention to the human act, knowledge and freedom, sin and conversion, virtue and character, nature of conscience, natural law and values and norms for moral decision-making.

MT 651 Sexual Ethics 2 credits

Investigation into the ethics of human sexuality in the light of faith. Overview of the teaching of the Magisterium, insights from Scripture and Tradition, discussion of the nature of sexuality and love,and contributions from the social and health sciences. Particular issues include pre-marital relations, contraception, abortion, homosexuality, masturbation, and celibacy.

MT 841 Social Ethics 3 credits

Study of the social demands of the Gospel.  The history of Catholic social teaching, an introduction to methodological approaches, Scripture in social issues, an overview of Magisterial teaching, and social ethics in a pluralistic society. Attention to war and peace, poverty, racism, ethnocentrism, sexism, religious freedom, and the environment. Readings from Papal documents, Synods of Bishops, and the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops.

MT 851 Bioethics 2 credits

Introduction to the systematic study of the moral dimensions of the life sciences and health care. Discussion of Magisterial teaching, the history of bioethics, the nature of disease and health, justice and health care, and the health care worker-patient relationship (including truth-telling, confidentiality, and informed consent). Special issues: artificial reproductive technologies, genetic science, organ transplantation, research, stem cells, withholding and withdrawing treatment, advance directives, physician-assisted suicide, and euthanasia.

MT 890 Seminar on Contemporary Moral Theologians 2 credits

An opportunity to explore moral theology more fully and to refine skills in the practice of moral theology by reviewing the lives and writings of contemporary theologians. After a brief overview of the history of moral theology since its inception as a distinct discipline in the 16th century, students will examine the interests, themes, methods, and conclusions adopted by select moral theologians since the Second Vatican Council. A seminar approach will be taken, with emphasis given to the close reading of principal primary sources.

MT 950 Seminar on the “Option for the Poor” 2 credits

Seminar study of the “preferential option for the poor” which has been accepted by Catholic social teaching as an essential element in Christian life.  Readings and discussion on the scriptural, theological, moral, psychological, sociological, and spiritual dimensions of this option.

MT 990 Directed Study 1-3 credits

MT/ST 999 Science and Religion:  History, Issues, and Prospects 2 credits

   An overview of the relationship between science and religion from the Old Testament to the present.  Analysis of historical controversies involving figures such as John Scotus Erigena (c.810-c. 877), Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543), Galileo Galilei (1564-1642), and Charles Darwin (1809-1882).  Discussion on proposed methodologies for a dialogue between science and religion, organizations and conventions dedicated to the dialogue, and issues in the contemporary dialogue relating to systematic theology (e.g. the existence of God, creation, eschatology) and moral theology (e.g. freedom, natural law, and personhood).  The course will make use of the recent substantial grant of books on science and religion to the Maida Alumni Library by the International Society for Science and Religion in Cambridge, U.K.