• Catholic moral theology;
  • conscience;
  • tradition;
  • loyal dissent


This review essay discusses the significance of Charles Curran's contribution to the field of Catholic theological ethics. I suggest that Curran's theological voice is a distinct and important one, that his preoccupations mirror major concerns in moral theology, and that his approach has been shaped through his long-standing ecumenical and interdisciplinary commitments. I consider four recent monographs and analyze Curran's impact under the headings of (1) the nature of moral theology; (2) the ecclesial shape of moral theology; (3) the (historical) contexts of moral theology; and (4) the (social) character of moral theology. I note that Curran's primary concern has been to honor the richness of the Catholic moral tradition, and that the range and depth of his work is unrivalled in contemporary Catholic moral theology. I conclude by suggesting that Curran's contribution to the discipline of moral theology has been both formative and transformative.