The Shaping of Moral Theology: Veritatis Splendor and the Debate on the Nature of Roman Catholic Moral Theology

Wilson Muoha Maina


Moral theology explores the sources of the moral teaching in several religions. It is the branch of theology that analyzes the scriptural, rational, and ministerial bases of moral teaching on various issues in Christian living. Moral theology in the Catholic Church has been undergoing rapid development since the Second Vatican Council. This essay presents the encyclical Veritatis Splendor as providing an important perspective on fundamental issues in moral theology. In Veritatis Splendor, Pope John Paul II gave the response of the church magisterium to the issues raised for decades in moral theology. This essay also evaluates the Catholic moral theologians responses to the encyclical. The theologians are categorized into two groups: the theologians who support the encyclical and the ones who view the encyclical in a critical way as misrepresenting their ideas. The essay recommends the encyclical Veritatis Splendor for renewing interest in fundamental issues in moral theology.


Veritatis Splendor, encyclical, Pope John Paul II, Second Vatican Council, theologians, moral, theology, Roman Catholic Church, natural law, scripture, autonomy, reason

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