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Conscience in Context

Historical and Existential Perspectives

Stuart P. Chalmers

In this book, the author presents a detailed study of the notion of conscience from the perspective of its historical development and existential environment. The purpose of the study is to highlight conscience’s dignity and fallibility, as well as its dependence upon the context of virtue and grace, in order to develop as our capacity to perceive the truth in moral action. Starting from the premise that current moral theory is suffering from fragmentation, the author proposes that this fragmented outlook has affected the common understanding of conscience and is therefore in need of renewal, chiefly in terms of the reintegration of conscience with its proper setting. In order to explore this theory, he investigates how conscience has been understood over the centuries, particularly in the New Testament and during the Scholastic period, and analyses a number of important issues concerning its nature and function.


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Abbreviations AAS: Acta Apostolicae Sedis DS: Denzinger, Henricus and Adolfus Schönmetzer, eds. Enchiridion Symbolorum, Definitionem et Declarationum de Rebus Fidei et Morum. 36th rev. ed. Barcelona, Freiburg im Breisgau, Rome: Herder, 1976. PG: Migne, J.-P., ed. Patrologiae Cursus Completus (Series Graeca). Paris: n.p., 1857–1866. PL: Migne, J.-P., ed. Patrologiae Cursus Completus (Series Latina). Paris: n.p., 1844–1855. Primary Sources Church Documents Benedict XVI. Address In Inauguratione Anni Academici Pontificiorum Athenaeorum in Urbe (23 October 2006). AAS 98 (2006), 817–819. ——. Encyclical Letter Deus Caritas Est. London: Catholic Truth Society, 2006. AAS 98 (2006), 217–252. ——. Encyclical Letter Spe Salvi. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2007. AAS 99 (2007), 985–1027. Catechism of the Catholic Church. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1994. Catechism of the Catholic Church, rev. ed. London: Geof frey Chapman, 1999. John Paul II. Address La Conscienza Morale è il Luogo del Dialogo di Dio con l’Uomo (General Audience, 17 August 1983). In Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, vol. 6, part 2: 1983. Vatican City: Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 1983, 255–258. ——. Encyclical Letter Donum et Vivificantem. London: Catholic Truth Society, 1986. AAS 78 (1986), 809–900. 404 Bibliography ——. Encyclical Letter Redemptor Hominis. Milan: Editrice Àncora, 1979. AAS 71 (1979), 257–324. ——. Encyclical Letter Faith and Reason [Fides et Ratio]. London: Catholic Truth Society, 1998. AAS 91 (1999), 5–88. ——. Encyclical Letter Veritatis Splendor. London: Catholic Truth Society, 1993. AAS 85 (1993), 1133–1228. ——. Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation Reconciliatio et Paenitentia. London: Catholic Truth Society, 1984. AAS 77 (1985)...

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