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Law - Theology and Moral Theology

(3,059 words)

Author(s): Waldemar Molinski
Part of Law: 1. Biblical 2. Theology and Moral Theology 3. Rule of Law 4. Philosophy of Law On the theology of law, see Old Testament Theology, Salvation - Theology A, Freedom, Law and Gospel, New Testament Theology - Pauline Theology, Sin - Sin and Guilt, Works. 1. A consideration of the notion of law in moral theology must start with the moral law and then proceed to the other types of law. The laws of nature and positive laws then appear as deficient modes of the moral law. By laws of nature we understand a rule for what must be, which th…

Scandal

(3,118 words)

Author(s): Waldemar Molinski
1. The notion of scandal. a) Functional definition. The personal development of the individual, like the cultural evolution of groups, is affected both by endogenous impulses, like creative ideas and the force they generate, and by exegenous impact, such as example and scandal. So the development of spiritual existence and culture is hindered not only by innate incapacity or failure but also by faulty upbringing and education and by scandals. Scandal, then, plays an ambivalent psychological and social role which religion and morality must take into account. We speak of scandal whe…

Situation Ethics

(2,812 words)

Author(s): Waldemar Molinski
1. History of the problem. The term “situation” was introduced into the language of moral theology by T. Steinbüchel. It became a sort of technical term when “situation ethics” was condemned by Pius XII (Allocutions of 23 March and 19 April 1952: AAS 44 [1952], pp. 270ff., 413ff.; Instructio S. Officii, 2 February 1956; AAS 48 [1956], pp. 144f.; DS 3918-21). There is a situation ethics, in the sense of the condemnations here mentioned, when one bases oneself on the concrete circumstances of a moral act to regard as good or justifiable moral decisions whic…

Merit

(2,589 words)

Author(s): Waldemar Molinski
The theological question of merit is concerned with the question of whether man can gain merit before God by his moral acts, especially when these acts are inspired by grace. One of the aspects of the problem is how far such a notion, which stems from human relationships, can be applied to the relationship of man to God. To avoid misunderstandings about the theological applicability of the concept, some remarks on how merit works between men may be desirable. 1. In human relationships, merit is understood as the claim for recompense which arises from actions performed on b…
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