Date of Award


Document Type

Dissertation - Restricted

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Richard R. Roach

Second Advisor

Michael K. Duffey


There has been much discussion in recent years concerning the authority of the episcopal magisterium to teach on concrete moral issues. Yet in all the argumentation, pro and con, over the magisterium's authority, there have been few attempts to uncover just what is at stake -- not only in terms of moral theory, but of one's theology of history, of the church, and of the Incarnation -- in the claim that the bishops and pope possess a unique teaching office in morality. The purpose of the dissertation is to lay the groundwork for a developed defense of the magisterium's authority, and in so doing to determine the effect of an advocacy of this authority on one's understanding of the faith--and the effect of denying it.



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