Writings from the Trento Conference

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. Read more