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Handbook of Roman Catholic Moral Terms


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Bretzke's Handbook of Roman Catholic Moral Terms is a unique guide to the often arcane infrastructure of Catholic moral theology, whose premises, principles, and conclusions can seem impenetrable to the student and whose developmental history can elude even the most diligent scholar. This book is an invaluable point of entry to a worldview and logic that survives still as the scaffolding of official Roman Catholic pronouncements on sexual and biomedical ethics. Anyone who needs to teach, counsel, or write in these areas will pull Bretzke's book frequently off the shelf. -- Lisa Cahill, Monan Professor of Theology, Boston College This much-needed reference work for students and scholars of all stripes is a resource that can guide research and clarify discussions of complex issues often confused by the misuse of key concepts. -- Richard M. Gula, SS, Emeritus Professor of Moral Theology, Franciscan School of Theology Bretzke's Handbook is comprehensive, practical, and thoughtfully written. Intelligently organized with helpful references, it draws the reader to a richer understanding and appreciation of the Catholic moral tradition. It will be a valuable resource for any student of moral theology. -- Eric Marcelo O. Genilo, SJ, assistant professor, Loyola School of Theology

About the Author

James T. Bretzke, SJ, is a professor of moral theology at Boston College School of Theology and Ministry. Previously, he was department chair at the University of San Francisco and taught at Jesuit universities and theologates in Rome, Seoul, Manila, Berkeley, and Milwaukee. He is the author of several books, including A Morally Complex World: Engaging Contemporary Moral Theology; his "A Burden of Means: Interpreting Recent Catholic Magisterial Teaching on End-of-Life Issues" won the 2007 College Theology Society's Best Article Award.


Very accessible to a broad and scholarly audience, this short 260-page gem places terms within historical context clarifying confusing terms without dismissing the complexity of the issues. -- Robert Marko, Aquinas College Catholic Books Review Very accessible to a broad and scholarly audience, this short 260 page gem places terms within historical context clarifying confusing terms without dismissing the complexity of the issues... For students of moral theology, I would suggest one look no further than this handbook. Catholic Books Review Covers an impressive amount of historical and contemporary ground... The eight-hundred-plus entries are generally clear and irenic, and often illuminating... Will help professionals and students alike come to a much better understanding of the key terms and debates within the field. Journal of the Society of Christian Ethics Anyone studying Catholic theology will find this a fine resource, perfect for research and scholarly applications and filled with source materials and references. Midwest Book Review A very important new reference work both for those engaged in theological studies and for a wider audience of interested church people ... It presents Bretzke's deep knowledge of the history and content of moral theology in a format that is accessible to all. Doctrine & Life

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