Date of Award


Document Type



Santa Clara : Santa Clara University, 2018.

Degree Name

Licentiate in Sacred Theology (STL)


Lisa Fullam


The Catholic Church in Chile is in a state of moral perplexity. On one side, the hierarchy of the Church, moral theologians, and teachers propose and teach a morality based on rules and principles that does not take account of the context of the country and creates a distance from the moral perspective of the majority of the Chilean people. On the other side, Catholic people are abandoning the Church, especially because of her approach to moral issues and her rule-based moral teachings. The problem of this moral perplexity lies in the deontological approach through which the Church proposes and teaches morality. Moral principles are not capable of properly addressing the cultural changes of Chilean society, and moral rules are not enough to provide an appropriate moral formation for the generations to come. This thesis proposes virtue ethics as a better suited approach for the current context and time because is capable of addressing the context and promoting moral development through the language of virtues. Virtue ethics is also more capable of offering a better approach for moral formation because it focuses on the moral character of the person, instead of moral rules. This integrative formation will prepare Catholic people to face the future and the moral challenges from the perspective of their faith.

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