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An Introduction to Catholic Ethics Paperback – January 1, 2003

4.0 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 241 pages
  • Publisher: National Catholic Educational Association (NCEA); 2003 edition (January 1, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1558333037
  • ISBN-13: 978-1558333031
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,110 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Thomas J. Burns VINE VOICE on August 5, 2009
Format: Paperback
For years the old Catholic joke went something like this: more promising Church careers were wrecked on the shoals of teaching moral theology than anywhere else. In truth, the teaching of Catholic moral theology is deceptively easy and maddeningly complex: easy in that the Church since New Testament days has codified in various ways the evils of life to be avoided; complex because, like all systems of law and behavior, even an inspired Church cannot legislate for every possible existential incidence. Moreover, the mission of forgiveness of sin must share the spotlight with the mission to cultivate a virtuous life, or "to be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect."

The challenge, then, for a Catholic educator is both a definition of a moral life and the exposition of a compelling reason to live one in the Catholic tradition. Longtin and Peach have put forward an introductory text that "sets the table" for a more specific discussion of Catholic moral teaching and current research, discussion, and controversy. Despite frequent reference to the Catechetism of the Catholic Church and other magisterial teachings, the reader should not expect an overview of these sources as much as a context for them.

This work is notable for two sections that compose nearly the entire first half of the text. The first is a review of major non-Christian ethical systems, with strengths and limitations, including Aristotle's "Nicomachean Ethics," Kant's "categorical imperative," and an overview of the multiple branches of Utilitarianism. In addition, the authors include here a discussion of "rights theory" as conceived by John Locke and others.
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Pretty good overview of the Catholic moral tradition by Professor Andrew Peach and Fr. Lucien Longten SJ, longtime theology teacher at Gonzaga High School in Washington DC. It covers everything from Aristotle and Aquinas to more contemporary outlooks in a generally readable fashion. The biggest drawbacks are the dated pop cultural references from the late 1990s and one questionable ethical call on the issue of abortion, where the text departs from Catholic teaching to suggest an acceptable way of letting a pregnancy be terminated. Without denying Catholic teaching on contraception, the text also points out that certain scriptural passages should not be used in reference to contraception, undermining the Catholic teaching a bit. Overall, a pretty good text, but it goes off the rails a bit when it tries to tackle current-day ethical dilemmas
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Format: Paperback
Andrew Peach and Lucien Longtin, SJ provide a succinct but rich overview of Catholic ethics for high school students. The language is accessible yet rooted in the scholarship of secular philosophy (Aristotle, Kant, Mill) and Christian morality (Magisterium, Natural Law, Scripture). Many of the examples take their cue from cultural phenomena and invite student reflection on their own experience with ethics. The only improvements I would like to see in the text would be a more in depth explanation of contemporary ethical applications and there is a section on lives of moral exemplars (Pedro Arrupe, Martin Luther King, Jr., Dorothy Day) that seems out of place and could be used to enhance an already accessible resource for high school students. The book is a rare find for secondary classrooms since much of the current literature is either intellectually limited (i.e., parish books with poor theology) or too abstract (i.e., academic theology without concrete applications).

Overall, a great starting point for the curriculum of ethics courses!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
While a bit stolid and sometimes outdated in terms of examples (eg MASH references) the book covers all the basics clearly. The end-of-chapter selected highlights are very helpful.
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This book is well organized and well written. It is one of three that I bought to prepare a short course in our parish. The ethical questions are well handled. I'd recommend it as a basis for any beginning course on this subject.
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I am using this for my Junior class, and they like it. The questions at the end of each section are very good.
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