Servais Pinckaers, O.P., is one of the preeminent Catholic moral theologians of his generation. His highly acclaimed works, among them The Sources of Christian Ethics, offer a thoroughly Thomistic and contemporary vision of the Christian moral life. They reflect the philosophical and spiritual prowess of a moral theologian who is estranged neither from philosophical ethics nor from dogmatic theology, neither from Scripture nor from spirituality.
The first collection of its kind available in any language, this volume features the twenty most significant essays written by Pinckaers since his highly praised Sources. The essays offer profound reflections that are only possible by a contemporary moral theologian who knows the thought of Aquinas from lifelong study. Rather than taking a simply historical approach to Aquinas, Pinckaers seeks the basis of the intelligibility of the moral life, providing rich spiritual and theological insights along the way. He plumbs the depths of fundamental moral theology in these essays, where he treats Thomistic method and the renewal of moral theology, beatitude and Christian anthropology, moral agency, and passions and virtues, as well as law and grace. Such a detailed treatment of key issues in fundamental moral theology and Christian philosophical anthropology will certainly demand attention from every theologian and advanced student interested in Aquinas and in a virtue approach to Christian ethics.
Pinckaers's work has been an important source for the revival of interest in virtue-oriented moral theology in recent years and will continue to be a major source for debates over the place of Scripture and the Holy Spirit in moral theology.
John Berkman is Associate Professor of Moral Theology and Area Director of Moral Theology/Ethics at The Catholic University of America. Craig Steven Titus is Research Fellow and Lecturer in the Department of Ethics and Moral Theology at the University of Fribourg and Visiting Professor at the Institute for the Psychological Sciences. The essays are translated by Sr. Mary Thomas Noble,O.P., Craig Steven Titus, Michael Sherwin, O.P., and Hugh Connolly.
PRAISE FOR THE BOOK:
"These essays speak of the sound and substantial contribution the thought of Servais Pinckaers has made to the renewal of moral theology called for by Vatican II. In the microcosm of this Reader he shows how the New Law of the Gospel is the necessary rediscovery—at once traditional and of the future—that gives fresh heart and insight to Christian morality. As Father Pinckaers looks at Thomistic method, at beatitude and Christian anthropology, moral agency, passions and virtue, law and grace, he integrates morality and spirituality in a way that will guide the teacher of moral theology and suggest new paths for the speculative theologian."—Francis Cardinal George, O.M.I., Archbishop of Chicago
"The work of Servais Pinckaers is essential for the renewal of moral theology. Pinckaers quite simply avoids the unhappy alternatives represented by recent debates in Catholic moral theology by a profound recovery of Aquinas' understanding of beatitude and the virtues. Pinckaers' work, moreover, is as important for Protestant theological ethics as it is for Catholic moral theology. This collection of essays wonderfully represents the heart of his work in a manner that provides us with a constructive alternative for the future. We are in debt to John Berkman and Craig Steven Titus for making Pinckaers' work available."—Stanley Hauerwas, Duke University
"Virtue ethics—the interloper in the morass of modern moral philosophy and acceptable even now only to a minority among Catholic moralists—is here given a strong voice. At last in English, we have a representative sample of the work of the greatest exponent of this tradition, drawing on deep knowledge of the theology of Saint Thomas Aquinas