Lexington Books / Fortress Academic
Trim: 6½ x 9
978-1-9787-0324-7 • Hardback • April 2019 • $111.00 • (£85.00)
978-1-9787-0326-1 • Paperback • May 2023 • $39.99 • (£31.00)
978-1-9787-0325-4 • eBook • April 2019 • $105.00 • (£77.00)
Nenad Polgar is assistant professor at the University of Zagreb and post-doctoral assistant at the University of Vienna.
Joseph A. Selling is emeritus professor of theological ethics in the Faculty of Theology at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven.
The Proliferation of "Intrinsic Evil"
Nenad Polgar and Joseph A. Selling
The Origin and Meaning(s) of the Concept of Intrinsic Evil
1.Aristotle on Intrinsically Bad Actions
2.The Concept of Intrinsic Evil: An Exploration of Some Theological Sources
The Concept of Intrinsic Evil in Sexual Ethics
3.Intrinsic Evil in Catholic Sexual Ethics: Time to Move On
Stephen J. Pope
4.Intrinsic Evil in Catholic Sexual Ethics: New Insights, New Approaches, New Logic
The Concept of Intrinsic Evil and Veritatis Splendor
5.Intrinsic Evil in Veritatis Splendor and Two Contemporary Debates
James T. Bretzke, S.J.
6.What Are Intrinsically Evil Acts?
The Concept of Intrinsic Evil in Fundamental Theological Ethics
7.The Naming of Evil in Fundamental Theological Ethics
Joseph A. Selling
8.Intrinsic Evil and the Sources of Morality
The Future of the Concept of Intrinsic Evil
9.Intrinsic Evil in Different Ethical Perspectives
Andreas M. Weiß
10.Pope Francis’ Heresy?
Edward C. Vacek, S.J.
What is Intrinsic Evil?
Nenad Polgar and Joseph A. Selling
The contributors to this book have provided a truly deep analysis of a subject that has played a central role in Catholic ethics for a long time. By examining the language of intrinsic evil from various points of view, they have produced important insights into numerous matters, including the inconsistency in the use of the term, problems resulting from its usage, and the need for a dynamic, personalist approach to ethics, rather than a static one. Whether they agree or disagree with individual contributors to this volume, scholars wishing to join in debate about intrinsic evil will do well to make this book a significant part of their research.
— Bernard Hoose, Heythrop College, University of London
This book offers an accurate and in-depth analysis of the concept of intrinsic evil. It considers historical instances, systematic articulations and applications to moral fields, such as sexual ethics. The theme of the moral negativity of an action is put in relation to the notion of the agent as subject of her/his choices.
This turn toward the subject does not weaken the question of moral evil and does not weaken the structure of ethical discourse, degrading it to something subjectivist and relativistic. On the contrary, it emphasizes with vigor and effectiveness, the responsibility of moral action, both in personal and collective agency. For such a perspective it is necessary to have a sensitivity first of all for the human good as a whole and to develop a moral passion that helps to make it concrete in the paths of history.
That takes us in a different direction than intrinsic evil, and this book is a powerful help for developing that newer pathway.
— Antonio Autiero, University of Münster
At the end of January 2018 an international, expert seminar was hosted in Vienna to discuss a much used concept in twentieth century Catholic theological ethics, intrinsic evil. Over the past forty years, the concept, used especially in sexual teachings, has prompted philosophical and theological ethicists to raise occasional critiques about its meaning and use. Now due to the dedicated work of Nenad Polgar, Sigrid Müller, and Joseph Selling we have the seminar's results that thoroughly, objectively, professionally, and critically analyze the concept from a variety of perspectives. Suffice it to say, those earlier doubts are now clearer. This collection effectively suggests, I think, that the credible utility of the concept has run its course. An important, long-needed, rich investigation, beautifully edited in this collection.
— James F. Keenan, SJ, Boston College
Recent Catholic teaching, especially in Veritatis Splendor, has too often used the technical moral theological concept, ‘intrinsic evil’, as an authoritarian bludgeon to aggressively suppress theological conversation on, and discernment about, controversial ethical issues, especially in sexual ethics. This invaluable collection of essays by noted scholars critically engages the tradition, and one another, to deconstruct the concept by exploring its historical, philosophical, theological, and ideological roots, and to move the tradition forward with a comprehensive and comprehensible framework for constructing foundational ethical concepts.
— Todd A. Salzman, Amelia and Emil Graff Professor of Theology, Creighton University