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Ethical Studies

Any 4000 level “E” course fulfills the Ethics concentration requirement.

E 4000 Introduction to Moral Theology
An introduction to the basic themes of the Christian moral life, including its personal, social, and cosmic dimensions. Using classical texts and contemporary case studies, students focus on the particular sources, authorities, and methods of the Roman Catholic ethical tradition. Attention is given to the relationship between methods of systematic theology and ethical methods.

ES 4002 Ethics, Spirituality, and Global Climate Change
Human-forced global climate change is a reality that Christians cannot ignore. While engaging the scientific, economic, and political realities that show the urgency of climate change issues, the deeper spiritual and moral resources available in the Christian and Roman Catholic traditions explore are explored. Students are assisted in finding ways to integrate their spirituality and ethical practice and to engage in concrete actions that seek resolutions to the many issues global climate change presents to our world.

E 4003 Social Analysis for Pastoral Praxis
The course teaches and utilizes the pastoral spiral steps of experience, social analysis, faith reflection and action. Input, methods and practical ways are offered for parishes, schools, churches and other faith based social service groups to consider the social issues of the day within a faith context. The course examines how we might look at issues such as environmental concerns, immigration, and trafficking of women and children, among others. Practical aims of the course are to give each participant the skills needed to engage various issues and to bring this method to the classroom, the parish and the community. The process is theological and practical and can be used in various faith communities.

E 4004 Catholic Moral Teaching and Public Policy Debates
This course will examine Catholic moral teachings' contributions to a range of public policy debates on issues such as health care, labor, poverty reduction, human rights, sustainable development, biomedical research, and governance. A global perspective will be taken in examining selected topics. Responses and reports of various bishops' conferences and Catholic and Christian organizations that focus on these issues will be considered.

EMP 4100 Catholic Social Teaching and Mission: Living the Values of the Reign of God
This course is one of three “integrating courses” that are built around several elements that make up the evangelizing mission of the church. Integrating courses integrate the four perspectives that make up the foundational courses: pastoral identity, methodological skill, contextual awareness and knowledge of Christian Tradition. The focus of this particular course is the tradition of the social teaching of the Catholic Church and how it contributes to the church’s mission of justice, peace, the integrity of creation, and reconciliation.

E 4200 Ethics of Power and Racial Justice
“Racist ideologies and behavior are long-standing: they are rooted in the reality of sin . . .” (The Church and Racism, #2). Globally, most experts on racial justice see the Catholic Church primarily among those who “Preach but don’t practice.” In light of this, it is morally imperative for all future ministers to obtain sufficient moral knowledge about the sin of racism and equip themselves with adequate strategies for the task of working for racial justice. This course addresses racial justice using the methods of theology, ethics, and the social sciences. Periodically this course is also offered as a 5000 level seminar for advanced research MA and D. Min. degree students.

E 4315 Medical Ethics
This course will examine the general ethical principles and methods that concern the medical profession and the Ethical and Religious Directives issued by the US Catholic Bishops Conference. Consideration will be given to topics such as beginning of life and end of life issues, experimentation with human subjects, genetic engineering, access to health care, and patient autonomy. Prerequisite: E 4000 Introduction to Moral Theology. 

E 4344 Global Economic Justice and Christian Faith
This course will examine the impact of globalization on economic life in light of Christian faith and the call for justice. Consideration will be given to the ethical dimensions of economic activity, to understandings of justice, particularly as expressed in the Catholic social tradition, and to proposals for addressing inequities.

E 4345 Spirituality, Liturgy, and the Quest for Justice
This course looks at ways on integrating spirituality and liturgy with the church's commitment to the justice in the world. It will examine how classical forms of spiritual development such as the Ignatian Exercises as well as more recent forms of liberationist, ecological and feminist spiritualities can aid the quest for justice. Key figures such as Thomas Merton will also be highlighted.

E 4400 Care for the Earth: Ethics and the Environment
This course is a basic introduction to environmental ethics. The focus is on the need for Christians to respect the environment and the behaviors that need to follow from that reverence. Various environmenta1 ethics methods are explored. Christian and Jewish sources, especially the Franciscan tradition and Catholic magisterial statements are plumbed.

E 4405 Sexual Ethics for the Christian
A study of sexuality and sexual behavior, especially among unmarried Christians. It investigates the moral tradition, the elements which form a contemporary Christian vision of sexuality, and how these relate to sexual conduct. Prerequisite: E 4000 Introduction to Moral Theology.

E 4406 Current Catholic Social Thought: Just War or Just Policing? [NEW]
How can the Church understand and actuate its mediatory role between God’s offer of peace in Christ in a world fraught with systemic violence (social, cultural, economic, political, and ecological) and that frequently brings nations and peoples to the brink of war?  This course first uses an historical approach to examine critical junctures in the development of biblical and Catholic social teachings, as well as classical Catholic social thought concerning war and peacemaking.  Special attention is given to the on-going ethical development of Just War theories including contemporary proposals concerning “post war justice” and “Just Policing” In the second part of the course students will be assisted in examining a situation of violence or warfare in their context of origin, and to develop their own theological, ethical, and pastoral appropriation of God’s offer of peace in a violent world.

E 4407 Bible and Ethics for Pastoral Ministry [NEW]
This inter-disciplinary course will explore the many dimensions of the relationship between the Bible and Ethics in the Catholic tradition. It will examine the integration of Scripture and Tradition as a basis for ethical reflection, moral imagination, and pastoral ministry. Topics such as justice, violence, reconciliation, and love will be addressed.

E–5002 Women, Poverty, and Global Justice
In light of Catholic Social Teaching and the call for global justice, this course will examine the issue of poverty by focusing on the causes of poverty among women, who make up half the world's population but represent 70% of the world's poor. Consideration will also be given to strategies developed to alleviate poverty, especially poverty among women.

E 5100 Holocaust and Genocide: Ethical Reflections
An examination of major ethical issues arising within the Nazi Holocaust. Topics include anti-Semitism the loss of personal morality, God and ethical decision-making, the importance of ritual in shaping ethical behavior, ethics and unjust structures, and human rights. Ethical issues in modern genocides, such as Rwanda, Bosnia, and Cambodia, are also considered.

E 5107 Catholic Environmental Ethics: Sources, Norms, and Issues
Catholic theological ethics has always considered care for the Earth as moral imperative. This seminar explores the Catholic doctrinal and moral grounding for dealing with the complex and often perplexing issues that constitute today's environmental crisis. Key theological and ethical sources and norms are explored using case studies. Students focus their learning on an actual case project in which they demonstrate ways of achieving conversion from our abusive relationships with the Earth, to moral, sustainable and reverential ways of living.

E 5201 Mutuality: Definition and Probative Value
Underlying all talk of power are assumptions that have ruled with unsuspected hegemony.  Many of these assumptions were full of mischief that alienated men/women, humans/nature, affect/ reason, personal/social, sacred/secular, and the like.  Mutuality is a corrective normative category which delimits the role of the moral agent, the use of power, and what is included in moral deciding.  This course will explore what is understood by mutuality and seeks to discover the difference in the process and end of ethical deciding when mutuality is utilized as a formal norm within a Christian ethical framework.  The work of Harrison, Heyward, Johnson, Ruether, Cahill, and Farley receives special attention.

E 5204 Love and Justice
Various ethical systems have developed around the central theme of love or of justice or their interaction. Differences in the understanding of these concepts constitute different approaches to morality. This seminar analyzes, compares, and critically assesses the ways in which these themes function in Christian ethics and theology.

E 5205 Ethics and Moral Pluralism
Moral pluralism has been a defining factor in moral reflection. This seminar explores recent work on the prospects for a common morality using philosophical analysis of pluralism, examining human rights as a kind of common morality, and studying developments beyond Hans Kung’s Global Ethic and the Parliament of World Religions. Special attention is given to Catholic moral theological issues raised by these discussions.

EH 5320 The Making of Moral Theology
This course is an overview of the development of Catholic moral theology from the patristic period to the present. Special attention is given to the directions and concerns of Catholic morality since the Second Vatican Council.

E 5208 Conscience: Historical and Contemporary Views [NEW]
This course will explore the concept of conscience. It will examine historical accounts of conscience and the way in which understandings of conscience have developed in the Catholic moral tradition. The relationship of conscience to mature moral development and virtuous character formation will also be considered.