Theological ethics can no longer be based on a simple theory of natural law. Since the teaching of Vatican II, it is clear that more attention needs to be paid both to its scriptural and theological foundations and to the method employed for thinking ethically. This introduction outlines the steps that will be taken in this process, from the formulation of the issues, to the scriptural background, through the history of Catholic moral theology, including the work of the Council, and then elaborates upon the ideas of person, virtue, and behaviour. Finally, it recognizes the lasting value of normative ethics as an integral part of the entire project and suggests how this might converge with a goal-oriented approach.
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