First published in French in 1985, this work has been recognised by scholars worldwide as one of the most important books in the field of moral theology. Here Servais Pinckaers, writing in a tone that is reconciliatory rather than polemical, returns Christians ethics to it's sources: the Gospel and the Holy Spirit. He discusses the complementary domains of morality and the behavioural and natural sciences, and traces the scriptural themes - particularly in the Sermon on the Mount and the writings of St. Paul - that most influence moral instruction. The unique feature of Pinckaer's contemporary Thomistic view it its emphasis on the virtues, gifts, and evangelical Beatitudes as the heart of the Christian moral life. His approach to morality results in what he calls the freedom for excellence, a notion of freedom that he contrasts with the nominalist concept of the freedom of indifference, which has dominated moral theology since the fourteenth century. This volume will serve the needs of both beginning and advanced students in seminary and university courses in moral theology and ethics.It will also provide the background and perspective needed ot achieve a fuller understanding of the moral teaching of the Catechism and of the encyclical Veritatis splendor.
Servais Pinckaers, O.P., is professor of moral theology at the University of Fribourg in Switzerland. He is author of numerous books in moral moral theology, including most recently L'Evangile at la Morale (1989) and La Morale Catholique (1991).