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Holy Spirit College

Catholic Bioethics (THEO 675) - Online

Purchase for $450


Mondays, August 31 – December 14
9:30 a.m. – 11:15 a.m. via Zoom

In contemporary society, Catholic moral teachings pertaining to health care ethics (bioethics) are frequently misunderstood or misrepresented. This course provides an in-depth exploration of Catholic teachings concerning the ethics of medical care, including the ethics of reproductive health care (sterilization, contraception, abortion, artificial procreation) and the ethics of end of life health care (palliative care, assisted suicide and euthanasia, artificial nutrition and hydration). Fundamental principles will be considered such as double effect, moral cooperation, the distinction between therapeutic and non-therapeutic care, the distinction between ordinary and extraordinary care, and burden/benefit analysis in relation to extraordinary care. This is a companion course of THEO 560– Theological Anthropology and THEO 650 – Moral Theology. (1.5 credit hours)

This course considers the origin of the universe as revealed and as understood existentially in religious philosophy, as well as the origin and destiny of humanity. The course examines the development of Christian thought on these topics, giving emphasis to biblical texts. In relation to creation, the course will investigate interpretations of the Hexaemeron, the relationship of the doctrine of creation to ontology, the distinction of primary/supernatural causation and secondary/natural causation, and contemporary issues and challenges for belief in a Creator. In relation to eschatology, the course will treat such topics as heaven, purgatory, and hell, prayer for deceased human persons, gradations of beatitude, all in light of Patristic authors, Aquinas’s Summa theologiae, and contemporary writings in Roman Catholic sacred theology.


Proprietary Interest Policy:

Faculty are permitted to refer to notable past work and achievements (including publications and educational activities not offered by Pontifex University, and even those offered for personal profit) in their published biography on the Pontifex website and course promotions. In the context of educational activities undertaken for Pontifex University, including videos, live or recorded, teachers, can recommend or bring to the attention such work for students (even if for personal profit, for example, books or podcasts) but only with approval by Pontifex University and when it is related to the teaching purpose of the class.  An instructor’s related work will be noted in the syllabus as appropriate.  Instructors may use their own materials as required in their courses and learning events as long as the materials are appropriate for the particular learning event.


Failure to comply with this policy will result in a warning or administration modification of course materials. Violations of this policy should be reported to the Provost.

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