The social forces that shape moral character

In his book, The Structures of Virtue and Vice (Georgetown University Press, 2021), School of Theology and Ministry Associate Professor of Moral Theology Daniel J. Daly uses the lens of virtue and vice to reimagine a Catholic ethics that can better scrutinize the social forces that both affect moral character and contribute to well-being or suffering. In doing so, he creates a Catholic ethical framework for responding virtuously to the problems caused by global social systems, from poverty to climate change. Drawing on the works of Thomas Aquinas and other sources, Daly defines the virtuous structures that facilitate a love of God, self, neighbor, and creation, and the vicious structures that cultivate hatred, intemperance, and indifference to suffering. Daly, who earned a master’s degree and Ph.D. in Theological Ethics from Boston College, teaches courses on health care ethics, Christian ethics, virtue ethics, and end-of-life ethics at STM. Last fall, he gave a talk for the STM Continuing Education program on “Catholic End of Life Ethics and the COVID Crisis.”

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