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Reframing Catholic Theological Ethics$
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Joseph A. Selling

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198767121

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198767121.001.0001

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From Trent to Vatican II

From Trent to Vatican II

Chapter:
(p.84) 4 From Trent to Vatican II
Source:
Reframing Catholic Theological Ethics
Author(s):

Joseph A. Selling

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198767121.003.0005

If scholastic theology paved the way for the development of (moral) theology for the coming centuries, nothing changed the way that the church as a believing community defined itself as fundamentally as the Council of Trent (1545–63). In response to the Protestant Reformation, the Catholic Church addressed its shortcomings, defined a number of its teachings, and laid down a programme for educating its clergy and standardizing its practices. The construction of the seminary system for training clergy played a significant role in shaping the structure of the church for the next four centuries. Included in that process was the establishment of a theory and practice of moral theology that became synonymous with the ‘handbook tradition’. In order to understand that tradition and to comprehend how Vatican II called for a renewal of moral theology, it is necessary to explain its roots and the elements that needed to be addressed.

Keywords:   moral theology, theological ethics, handbook tradition, Council of Trent, Vatican II, theological renewal

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