THE304: Public Morality and Catholic Social Ethics


THE304: Public Morality and Catholic Social Ethics

Key details

Accredited towardsBachelor of Arts in the Liberal Arts
Unit typeElective unit
Credit points6
Indicative contact hours3 hours per week
Offered inSemester 2
Tuition feeLearn more



This unit addresses issues of public morality in contemporary society. Through a detailed study of Catholic social teaching, students analyse the ethical and theological dimensions of a range of public issues. These are linked to important developments in the philosophical understanding of justice from Ancient Greece until the present era. There is a particular focus on issues that are the subject of robust political debate and on which the Catholic Church has enunciated a clear teaching. Specific topics treated include the strengths and weaknesses of the free market economy; the just war tradition; capital punishment; work and leisure; environmental ethics; and issues pertaining to poverty and under-development.


Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit of study, students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate a basic knowledge of the principles and development of Christian social ethics.
  2. demonstrate a familiarity with the literature of social ethics with particular focus on Catholic social teaching.
  3. evaluate the ethical dimensions of current social and professional issues.
  4. develop the skill of moral reasoning through study of social issues examined in the light of Scripture and the Christian tradition.
  5. appreciate the importance of a Christian engagement in public life that is responsible and prophetic.
  6. encourage research, critical reading, reflection and analysis of presented material and readings;
  7. demonstrate the ability to think logically, critically analyse situations and design responsible solutions to problems;
  8. summarise information and communicate in a persuasive, logical and coherent manner;
  9. competently present clear written expression, logical essay structure and appropriate use of referencing and bibliography to comply with the strict conventions of academic writing;
  10. work constructively in a group and actively participate in tutorial events.



Interested in other Theology units?

THE111: Introduction to Catholic Theology
THE102: The Development of Revelation
THE201: Sacramental Theology
THE202: Fundamental Moral Theology
THE301: Theology of the Post-Conciliar Era
THE302: Bioethics and the Catholic Tradition
THE303: Moral and Sexual Integrity
THE304: Public Morality and Catholic Social Ethics



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