Human Life, Family, and Society

This postgraduate unit  provides an advanced study of the ethical issues arising in the contemporary experience of marriage and personal relationships. Historical, sociological and theological insights will provide a context for examining Christian responses to family life today. It includes an historical overview of Catholic teachings on human sexuality, marriage and procreation, theological perspectives for human sexuality: Trinity, creation and covenant, theology of the body, sacramentality, theological aspects of family planning and responsible parenthood, ethical issues at the beginning of human life, contemporary issues in sexual ethics, including homosexuality and ethical aspects of human development and sexual maturation.

Study Level




Sub Discipline

Christian Ethics

Credit Points




Learning Outcomes

At the end of this unit students will be able to:

  1. critically explain the biblical and ecclesial theological foundations for the Catholic teaching on sexuality, marriage and family
  2. critically address the challenges to a Christian theological anthropology presented by contemporary attitudes to human sexuality, marriage and the family
  3. connect the insights of psychology and the human sciences with the theological understanding of human sexuality
  4. discuss the wider implications of Catholic teaching for the ethical aspects of human sexuality and interpersonal relationships
  5. apply the Catholic teaching on marriage, family, and divorce to complex pastoral situations.
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