Moral judgement in the theology of John Henry Newman
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The purpose of this thesis is to analyse moral judgement in Newman's theology by examining his religious epistemology of the judgement of faith which he regularly illustrates with a moral analogy. Chapter one explains the philosophical and theological parameters of his religious epistemology in the 'University Sermons', and 'The Idea of a University'. This shows the primacy of the implicit reason of faith, and the secondary, but indispensable, function of explicit reason, manifest in Newmnan's explanation of liberal knowledge. Chapter two refines this by examining the 'Grammar of Assent, to show the objectivity and normativity of his epistemology in the concrete faith judgement of the illative sense. I show the primacy of personal assent in relation to the indispensable, but secondary, function of inferential investigation. Chapter three adopts the epistemology of the 'Grammar of Assent' to explain moral judgement. I introduce the term 'illative moral judgement' to show that concrete moral judgement can be a speculative truth of implicit reason which elicits a real assent of the imagination. There is a creative tension between concrete moral judgement and the abstract moral judgement entailed by the objective existence of the moral law; this is indicated by the moral sense of conscience within the context of his theology of a religious imagination. Moral judgement, action, and progress are connected by examining the role of the will and the influence of grace. The religious dimension of moral judgement is explained by understanding conscience's sense of duty in terms of intentionality within a horizon of belief. And his religious epistemology reveals the mode of reversing concrete moral judgement. Chapter four shows the relevance of Newman's proposals for moral judgement in contemporary moral theology.