Spring 1969

Page 56



the chosen people and the first Christians, the world was understood as God's world and God was understood as the God of history. The God of the Bible is not an eternally immutable Greek deity but the God who acts for and with his people in their history.路 BJ!:ING TRUE TO THE TRUTH

It is, then, our contemporary historical world which can put us in contaCt with our religious origins and thus purify and 路 _re-vitalize our Christian li.ves. It is a well-known fact that the so-called new theology, which came into public view at Vatican II, is more profoundly biblically oriented and less rationalistic than the dogmatic theology of the modern world. A similar transformation will occur in moral theology and is, in fact, already in process. Until our time the use of Scripture in moral theology was largely incidental. And lacking any essential biblical foundation, Catholic moral theology. was a science not substantially different from philosophical ethics, based exclusively on human reasoning. (And this, incidentally, explains why not a few Catholic college~ and universities today still require every students to take a- philosophical course in ethics, while they do not even offer students a course in moral theology.)


Being essentially identical in methorl with moral philosophy, the trarlitional moral theology is only as valid and adequate as are its philosophical presuppositions. To show-how and to what extent these philosophical presuppositions are inadequate and what new philosophical premises must路 be recognized in the light of contemporary experience before any .science, philosophical or theological, can understand adequately the moral 路 meaning of man's activity, has been the limited and circurnscriberl task attempted here.