Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
Trim: 6 x 9
978-1-4422-4710-9 • Hardback • September 2016 • $110.00 • (£85.00)
978-1-4422-4711-6 • Paperback • September 2016 • $42.00 • (£32.00)
978-1-4422-4712-3 • eBook • September 2016 • $38.00 • (£29.00)
James F. Keenan, SJ, is Canisius Professor of Theology and Director of The Jesuit Institute at Boston College. He is the author or editor of a number of books, including University Ethics: How Colleges Can Build and Benefit from a Culture of Ethics and The Works of Mercy: The Heart of Catholicism.
Introduction: Moral Wisdom beyond the Moral Manuals
Part I: The Lessons
Chapter One: Love
Chapter Two: Conscience
Chapter Three: Sin
Chapter Four: Suffering
Part II: The Texts
Chapter Five: The Ten Commandments
Chapter Six: Jesus in the New Testament
Chapter Seven: Practicing the Corporal Works of Mercy
Chapter Eight: Cultivating the Cardinal Virtues
Part III: The Task
Chapter Nine: Moral Agency
About the Author
Keenan's book is sharp, offering constructively critical analyses of fundamental moral theological ideas with a profound respect for the Catholic tradition. Keenan uses his own personal stories to recast moral theological ideas in ways that resonate deeply with our lives. Students and colleagues alike identify well with his struggles with moral issues. The chapters on love, sin, suffering, and mercy are extraordinary.
— Dominic Colonna, Department of Theology, Lewis University
This is a lovely book! Keenan probes his own experiences of struggle, suffering, and love, interweaving them with biblical reflection and theological analysis. He looks fault and sorrow squarely in the face, yet sustains buoyant notes of hope and commitment. The content of this book is an exercise in the virtue of its title.
— Lisa Sowle Cahill, J. Donald Monan Professor of Theology, Boston College
Imagine a book that is at once a source of profound wisdom, a systematic presentation of a moral and ethical tradition, and a 'page-turner!' This is what James Keenan's Moral Wisdom turns out to be. There is nothing facile about this volume, nothing superficial, nothing manipulative. It weaves together autobiography, the stories of others, interpretation of biblical and theological texts, and a deep understanding of what morality is and what the Roman Catholic tradition of moral theology has been and can be when it is at its best. Few will come away from reading this book without imaginative new hope, salutary appreciation for 'hard sayings,' new insight into the meaning of divine mercy, and perhaps experiences of both laughter and the 'gift of tears.' Thought-provoking and informative, opening questions and not shutting them down: here is a significant contribution to ongoing explorations of the moral life.
— Margaret A. Farley, Gilbert Stark Professor of Christian Ethics, Yale University Divinity School
Moral wisdom is hard to come by because it is so complex. Most of us strive for moral wisdom throughout our lives but never totally attain it. In this book, James F. Keenan skillfully brings together deep theological knowledge, historical lessons, acute pastoral sensitivity, broad spiritual experiences, and true prudence in proposing moral wisdom for Christian life and spirituality today.
— Charles E. Curran, Elizabeth Scurlock University Professor of Human Values, Southern Methodist University
James Keenan puts 'flesh and bones' on the abstractions of moral theory and demonstrates from his own personal experience how the Christian moral life is a pilgrimage of faith, hope, and love. Keenan's book will be used widely in college classrooms and seminaries alike. His clarity, honesty, and passion ought to be emulated by every moral theologian.
— Stephen J. Pope, Boston College
This third edition of Keenan's work demonstrates ever more clearly that it is not a book about moral wisdom but a book of moral wisdom. With an appealing blend of personal stories, Catholic moral theology, and insightful interpretation of human experience, Keenan's volume continues to be a welcome resource for teachers and students.
— Kenneth Himes, OFM, Boston College
Keenan is a master at conveying the dynamism of Catholic moral thought, weaving together theological scholarship with autobiography and the arts. He is without peer in his ability to teach through story, revealing the tradition to be nimble, nuanced, and capable of disclosing readers’ own inner lives. Keenan’s magnificence as a teacher shines brightly through the pages of this third edition, and students of the text will reap profound benefits to both their intellect and their humanity.
— Kathryn Getek Soltis, Villanova University
Father James Keenan is one of those rare contemporary theologians who compellingly weaves together rich pastoral experience and masterful intellectual inquiry. To read him is to hear not only the considered wisdom of Catholic moral teaching, but to have the privilege of hearing a learned man struggling to work out his own moral practices. In this book, lay readers and scholars alike can see how Catholic moral tradition informs a life of discernment, love, and everyday courage.
— Tom Beaudoin, Fordham University
Revised to help readers better understand not only the roots of Catholic moral theology but also how to apply it to real life
Engaging writing style, filled with both personal stories and examples from recent media events
Addresses the teachings of Pope Francis
Revised and updated throughout
Significant new material in the chapters on the Ten Commandments and the teachings of Jesus
Introduces the Beatitudes as a text for Moral Wisdom
A new conclusion offers guidance in applying the book’s lessons to their lives