In December, 2011, Orbis Books published Catholic Theological Ethics, Past, Present, and Future: The Trento Conference.  The volume, edited by James F. Keenan, S.J.—Jesuit priest and professor in theology at Boston College—, collects works arising out of the Trento Conference, convened in Trento, Italy in July, 2010.  (Significantly, Trento was the location of the sixteenth century Council of Trent that launched the Catholic Counter-Reformation.)

The Trento Conference was a massive effort—featuring hundreds of presenters— focused on the encounter between moral theology and issues of contemporary global social policy.  The Conference took a dialogic methodological approach—that is, an approach not drawing strict lines between Catholic orthodoxy and unorthodoxy—to these contemporary social issues, which included “sexuality, authority, . . . gender, sustainability, health, econom[ics], . . . the right to food, [and] family.”  See generally James F. Keenan, S.J., What Happened at Trento 2010?, 72 Theol. Stud. 131, 140, 146 (2011) (interestingly, Theological Studies is a Jesuit journal focused on theological ethics founded in 1940 and edited by the Jesuit scholar and Catholic social thinker, Fr. John Courtney Murray, S.J., from 1942 until his death in 1967).

The contributions in Fr. Keenan’s volume aspire to develop a Catholic moral theology for the twenty first century.  They examine Catholic moral theology’s history, review theological ethics as they exist today, and propose directions Catholic theological ethics might—or should—take in the years to come.  Of particular social policy interest are its explorations of inter-religious dialogue and harmonic co-existence; perspectives from socially, economically, and globally marginalized and/or silenced communities; and ethics in politics.

For Orbis Books’ description of the volume, please follow the jump.

In Catholic Theological Ethics, Past, Present, and Future: The Trento Conference, theological ethicists confront key questions and issues from around the globe to provide a “state of the art” volume in twenty-first century moral theology.

Some 500 theological ethicists from nearly 75 countries met in Trento, Italy in July 2010 to discuss the challenges they face.  This volume includes the most important current thinking, with contributions from around the globe: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Germany, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Italy, Kenya, Mexico, the Philippines, Scotland, Switzerland, the Ukraine, the United States, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.

Divided into three main parts (the past, the present, and the future), and with a Foreword by John W. O’Malley, Catholic Social Ethics, Past, Present and Future examines ethics and interreligious dialogue, the interaction between history and theological ethics, missing and marginalized voices, moral reasoning, political ethics, health issues, identity and familial relations, and the future of theological ethics.

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