Date of Award

Spring 1997

Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Hughson, Thomas

Second Advisor

Del Colle, Ralph

Third Advisor

Duffey, Michael K.


Even though theology has influenced health care ethics in general, moral theology has not influenced current perspectives in mental health care ethics in particular. In response, this dissertation offers a basis for communication between theology and mental health care ethics. The task consists in developing a theological anthropology able to mediate between theology and psychology. While a comprehensive anthropology exceeds the scope of this dissertation, the Pneumatological aspects of theological anthropology fall within its focus. And so, theological anthropology will be understood in reference to a renewal of Catholic moral theology called for by Vatican II. As the Holy Spirit is the source of this renewal, so this dissertation will highlight the link between Pneumatology and anthropology. The link is moral conscience. Conscience is also a concern common to theology and psychology, and so, mediates between them. This dissertation approaches moral conscience using a revision of psychologist Josef Rudin's basic framework. In Rudin's schema, conscience has two aspects: 1) as a basic human disposition, and 2) as a personal act of judgment. As a basic human disposition, moral conscience has three dimensions: a) the interpersonal formation of conscience; b) the intrapersonal phenomenology of conscience; and c) the transcendent metaphysics of conscience. These correspond to the three dimensions of human experience: a) the somatic; b) the psychic; and c) the pneumatic. Using this triadic, experiential anthropology, this dissertation argues that conscience has an intrinsic relationship to the Holy Spirit. Derivatively, according to the first aspect, conscience is the residual imprint of the Holy Spirit, metaphorically speaking. According to the second aspect, the principle of theodynamics holds that the Holy Spirit emancipates, enlightens, and empowers conscience's judgments. The working definition of conscience proposed in this dissertation is that conscience is the human person judging to do good or feeling the alienation of doing evil...



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