Living the Truth

cover art
176 pp., 5.5 x 8.5
ISBN: 9781589016972 (1589016971)

June 2010
LC: 2010001531

Moral Traditions series


Table of Contents

Living the Truth
A Theory of Action
Klaus Demmer
Foreword by James F. Keenan
Brian McNeil, Translated by

How is moral theology related to pastoral theology? In this first English translation of Living the Truth, Klaus Demmer answers this question by offering a complete theory of action. Its crucial element is truthfulness, which Demmer claims is a basic attitude that must be translated concretely into our individual decisions. Demmer demonstrates that the demand for truthfulness offers a critical corrective to the usual praxis whereby ethical norms are formulated. This has significant consequences for every area of ethical directives, including questions about celibacy and partnerships.

Demmer moves away from the act-centered morality that dominates the neo-Scholastic manuals of moral theology. His concern is to show how our actions embody and carry out a more original anthropological project. Not only does this anthropological project condition our insights into goods and values, it provides the criteria by which our actions are judged morally. This book will be welcomed by all who are looking for ethical norms, and by all whose task it is to formulate such norms.

Klaus Demmer, MSC is a member of the Order of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart. From 1970 to 2003 he was a professor of moral theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome. He has published over twenty-five books on moral theology and is considered the foremost European moral theologian of his generation.

James F. Keenan, SJ, Series Editor
"In understanding Demmer better, we may also better understand ourselves and our horizons."—from the foreword by James F. Keenan, SJ

"Klaus Demmer's Living the Truth is the signature work of one of the most influential Catholic moral theologians of the last fifty years. His central concern with freedom, truthfulness, and the 'ethical praxis' of Christian life will enrich English-speaking moral theology as it has already shaped the European. This carefully argued analysis of moral agency ought to be read by every moral theologian."—Stephen J. Pope, Boston College

"In this book, English-speaking moral theologians for the first time have access to the very influential hermeneutical ethical method of one of Europe's foremost moral theologians. . . . a veritable mind opener."—Charles E. Curran, Elizabeth Scurlock University Professor of Human Values, Southern Methodist University

Table of Contents


Chapter One
The Existential-Historical Form of Thought
The Theological-Anthropological Form of Thought
God's Action and Human Action

Chapter Two
Person and Personality
Standing Firm in the Truth
Moral Theology—A School of Truthfulness

Chapter Three
Truthfulness as the Basic Attitude of the Ethical Personality
Untruthfulness as a Source of Personal Disintegration
The Principle Features of a Metaphysics of Ethical Action