Human experience and Catholic moral theology

Michael G. Lawler, Todd A. Salzman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Catholic moral theology is based on a quadrilateral of sources: scripture, tradition, reason, and experience. This article focuses specifically on the correlations between moral theology and experience. It examines the ecclesial experience embedded in the concepts of sensus fidei, reception, and non-reception; the experience analyzed by liberationist and feminist theologians; and the experimental experience of the sciences. Since all believers, laity, theologians, and bishops alike, and their theologies are inevitably influenced by the societies in which they live, the article also inquires into the science of sociology and the light it can shine on the actual experience and, therefore, the actual theologies of all those believers. It concludes, with the Second Vatican Council, that by making use of the sciences, and experience in general, all the faithful 'will be brought to a purer and more mature living of the faith'.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-56
Number of pages22
JournalIrish Theological Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Religious studies


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