This is something to look forward to this Monday. My former professor in theology, Dr. Christina Astorga is coming to De La Salle – Manila to launch her latest book Catholic Moral Theology and Social Ethics. After holding professorial stints in different universities in the United States, she now serves as the Chair of the Theology Department of the University of Portland. The Vatican-censured Jesuit theologian Roger Haight describes the book as “A summa of post-Vatican II Catholic moral theology and social ethics, this magisterial work…offers a creative synthesis of Catholic moral thinking today.” Lisa Sowle Cahill, J. Donald Monan Professor of Moral Theology, Boston College wrote: “Strikingly original work…incisive, spiritually attuned, globally sensitive.” The book is published by Orbis Books, New York.
I peeked at the table of contents of the book at Amazon, giving me the impression that this book is going to be the “new textbook” with a new method in the study of Catholic moral theology. Dr. Astorga has been consistently impressing the heavily male populated boardroom of theologians with her deep, scholarly mind. From the Philippine Jesuits, she now penetrates the bigger domain of theological exploration in the United States, having addressed as plenary speaker at the 2014 Catholic Theological Society of America Convention this June. Her book was awarded the National Book Award by the College Theology Society. As a Jesuit brainchild, her bias naturally is towards ‘Ignatian spirituality’ and it is easy to suspect from the table of contents how this brand of spirituality must have informed her take on morality.
‘Ignatian spirituality’ aside, I think there is another way of looking at morality from a more contemplative view after my years of exposure to the thoughts of Maggie Ross, Rowan Williams, Iain McGilchrist, Patricia Churchland, the Japanese poetry, Zen Buddhism, and my latest find Mari Ruti. This is what excites me in the coming new year.