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Introducing Moral Theology: True Happiness and the Virtues

, 2008
ISBN: 9781441251640
  • Format:Digital



Whether in the cafeteria, classroom, or dorm lounge, questions abound on college campuses. Not only do students grapple with existential issues but they also struggle with ethical ones such as "Why be moral?" In Introducing Moral Theology, William Mattison addresses this question as well as grapples with the impact that religious belief has on day-to-day living. Structured in two parts, this unique text on Catholic moral theology covers cardinal virtues (temperance, prudence, fortitude, and justice) as well as theological virtues (faith, hope, and love). It is equipped with study questions, terms and their definitions, and illustrative case studies. Rooted in the Catholic tradition, this overview will also appeal to non-Catholics interested in virtue ethics.

As college students develop their identities and construct their worldviews, they commonly wrestle with fundamental questions such as "Why be moral?" Taking into account feedback he has received from students and colleagues, William Mattison has crafted Introducing Moral Theology, a masterful basic text on Catholic moral theology. The book includes study questions, terms and definitions, bibliographies, and case studies on timely, thorny issues such as premarital sex and euthanasia. Readers will also note that Introducing Moral Theology draws deeply on Thomas Aquinas's Summa Theologica. While written primarily to and from a Roman Catholic perspective, this text will appeal to a wide range of Christian academics and believers interested in theology and ethics.

Key Features

  • Provides a basic overview of Catholic moral thinking
  • Excellent resource for students as well as those interested in virtue ethics
  • Gives overview of both classical and theological ethics
  • Includes extensive bibliography, index, and case studies

Praise for the Print Edition

A first-rate textbook for beginners in this challenging field. Mattison wears his considerable learning lightly, and while he clearly aims to present traditional Catholic moral teachings, he does so in a way that invites thoughtful engagement and dialogue. This would be suitable in a number of undergraduate and seminary contexts, and scholars in the field will find much of value here as well.

—Jean Porter, University of Notre Dame

The new wave in theology is virtue ethics, and Mattison rides it to new systematic heights. He lays out the role of virtue in the good life, shows how virtue relates morality to the rest of theology, then applies virtue ethics to concrete quandaries of Christian living today. Designed as an engaging classroom text, this book will also interest scholars of ethical theory.

—Lisa Sowle Cahill, Monan Professor of Theology, Boston College

Product Details

  • Title: Introducing Moral Theology: True Happiness and the Virtues
  • Author: William C. Mattison, III
  • Publisher: Baker Academic
  • Publication Date: 2008
  • Pages: 336

William C. Mattison III is assistant professor of theology at The Catholic University of America and author of Introducing Moral Theology: True Happiness and the Virtues.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition