The Dialogue between Tradition and History
Essays on the Foundations of Catholic Moral Theology
The decades following the Second Vatican Council witnessed Catholic theology's break from the classicism. Deductive, classical theology was replaced by an empirical, historically minded theology. The result was moral confusion and intellectual controversy whose effects are still felt by the Church. Ashley was disappointed with this break and saw the controversies generated by the Council as a sign that it was not sufficiently prepared to engage the problems of modernity. He agreed that some revision in moral theology was necessary after Vatican II to formulate and integrate the mysteries of the Catholic faith. The question was had such teachings could be reformulated while preserving their substantive content. Ashley presents a method of theological reflection that proceeds from starting points objectively proposed and accepted on faith and that acquires understanding through a systematic examination of the philosophy of nature and the dialectical integration of theology and science. Through this process, Ashley challenges the subjectivity, relationality, and language of historical mindedness with a tradition focusing on Scripture, the Magisterium, sound natural science, and a considered relationship between subjectivity and objectivity. The volume also contains commentary by four distinguished scholars: Matthew McWhorter provides an intellectual biography of Ashley, examining the development of his thought before and after Vatican II. Rev. Cajetan Cuddy, OP, reviews Ashley's philosophical theology in its principles, especially as grounded in natural law philosophy. Matthew Minerd assesses Ashley's approach to the authority of the Catholic Magisterium, the papacy, and the formation of conscience. Rev. Nicanor Pier Giorgio Austriaco, OP, evaluates Ashley's application of his moral theology to beginning- and end-of-life decision-making.
About the Authors
Rev. Benedict Ashley, OP, was a leading figure in the development of Catholic theology in the twentieth century. He was born in Neodesha, Kansas, on May 3, 1915, and died on February 23, 2013. His distinctive approach to metaphysics was grounded in an Aristotelian outlook that remained firmly committed to modern natural science. Matthew McWhorter is an associate professor at Divine Mercy University.
Other Titles by Benedict Ashley
Benedict M. Ashley, OP
May 2013 - The Catholic University of America Press
$24.95 USD - Paperback / softback
Other Titles in RELIGION / Christianity / Catholic