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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2018 - 2019

Module Title
Module Code

Online Module Resources

NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 5
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This module provides a comprehensive introduction to Foundations of Philosophical and Theological Ethics. It introduces participants to the study of ethics and considers in a systematic manner how ethical principles, theories and reflection influence moral decision-making. It focusses on ethical reflection within Catholic moral theology. It also investigates the sources of Christian morality, i.e. Scripture, Tradition, Church Teaching and Natural Law and Virtue.

Learning Outcomes

1. Demonstrate a broad knowledge and understanding of a number of fundamental themes in ethics including ethical systems, natural law, conscience and normative sources, sin and reconciliation.
2. Display specialist knowledge of sources, ethical beliefs and moral norms which define Christian ethics in terms of its distinctiveness and specificity.
3. Engage with and discuss a variety of ethical questions and issues supported by relevant philosophical and theological foundations as well as ethical sources.
4. Identify and evaluate a range of potential moral viewpoints, arguments within the context of the ecumenical and interfaith challenges in a changing society.
5. Develop further their knowledge and analytical skills in ethics for research in this and associated areas.
6. Further their understanding and knowledge of philosophical and theological ethics within the context of teaching of Religious Education/Studies in a pluralist, multi-cultural Irish society.
7. Engage in ethical discourse with others in a manner that is appreciative of different philosophical/theological and educational world-views.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24No Description
Tutorial2No Description
Independent Study44No Description
Assignment Completion55No Description
Total Workload: 125

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Morality and Ethics

Moral Development

Ethical-Decision Making

Ethical Theories [Utilitarianism, Deontology, Virtue Ethics].

Ethics and Catholic Moral Theology.

Sources of Christian Ethics – Scripture, Tradition, Church Teaching, Natural Law.

Conscience, Conscience Formation and Normative Sources.

Sin & Reconciliation.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment% Examination Weight%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
Indicative Reading List

  • Bennett, Christopher: 2010, What is This Thing Called Ethics?, Routledge, Oxon,
  • Adkins, Brent: 2017, A Guide to Ethics and Moral Philosophy, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh,
  • Cahn, Steven M. (ed.): 2016, Exploring Ethics: An Introductory Anthology, 4th edition, Oxford University Press, New York,
  • Dreier, James: 2005, Contemporary Debates in Moral Theory, Blackwell, London,
  • Driver, Julia: 2007, Ethics: The Fundamentals, Blackwell, Malden, MA,
  • Gensler, Harry J.: 2011, Ethics: A Contemporary Introduction, Routledge, New York,
  • Gill, Robin (ed.): 2001, The Cambridge Companion to Christian Ethics, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK,
  • Gilligan, Carol: 1993, In a Different Voice, Harvard University Press, Cambridge Mass.,
  • Graham, Gordon: 2004, Eight Theories of Ethics, Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group, New York,
  • Gula, Richard: 1989, Reason Informed by Faith, Paulist Press, Mahwah, NJ,
  • Hannon, Patrick: 2005, Moral Decision Making, Veritas, Dublin,
  • Hannon, Patrick [ed.]: 2006, Moral Theology: A Reader, Veritas, Dublin,
  • Hauerwas, Stanley, and Wells, Samuel (eds.): 2006, The Blackwell Companion to Christian Ethics, Blackwell, Oxford, UK,
  • Kim, Andrew: 2015, An Introduction to Catholic Ethics Since Vatican II, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge,
  • Kohlberg, Lawrence: 1973, Collected Papers on Moral Development and Moral Education, Center for Moral Education, Harvard,
  • Laird, John: 2010, A Study in Moral Theory, Kessinger,
  • MacNamara, Vincent and McDonagh, Enda: 2009, An Irish Reader in Moral Theology: The Legacy of the Last Fifty Years, Vol. I: Foundations, The Columba Press, Dublin,
  • May, William. E.: 2003, An Introduction to Moral Theology, 2nd edition, Our Sunday Visitor, Huntington, IN [USA],
  • Martineau, James: 2010, Types of Ethical Theory, Volume 1, Nabu Press,
  • Mathewes, Charles T.: 2010, Understanding Religious Ethics, Wiley-Blackwell, Malden, MA:,
  • Odozor, Paulinus I.: 2003, Moral Theology in an Age of Renewal, University of Notre Dame Press, Notre Dame,
  • Persson, Ingmar: 2017, Inclusive Ethics, Oxford, Oxford University Press,
  • Pinckaers, Servais: 2003, Morality: The Catholic View, St Augustine's Press, South Bend, Indiana,
  • Sterba, James, (ed.): 1998, Ethics: The Big Questions, Blackwell, Oxford, UK,
  • Selling, Joseph A.: 2016, Reframing Catholic Theological Ethics, Oxford University Press, Oxford,
  • Gibson, Kevin: 2013, An Introduction to Ethics, Pearson,
  • Schweiker, William: 2008, The Blackwell Companion to Religious Ethics, Blackwell, Oxford,
  • Thompson, Mel: 2008, An Introduction to Philosophy and Ethics, Hodder Education Group,
  • Timmons, Mark: 2002, Moral Theory: An Introduction, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Lanham, Maryland USA,
  • Wells, Samuel and Quash, Ben: 2010, Introducing Christian Ethics, Wiley-Blackwell, Malden, MA,
  • Willems, Elizabeth: 1997, Understanding Catholic Morality, Crossroad Publishing, New York,
Other Resources

26520, Website, 0, Germain Grisez, http://www.twotlj.org/, 26521, E-Journal, 0, International Journal of Ethics, 26523, E-Journal, 0, Studies in Christian Ethics, 26524, E-Journal, 0, The Journal of Religious Ethics,
Programme or List of Programmes