Personal Commitments

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Personal Commitments explores how human commitments, rooted in the story of God's love, are acts of free choice and love. Here, noted ethicist Margaret Farley reflects on the concrete experiences of people who strive to be faithful to what they have claimed to love: "My concern is to name something that I think is, after all, common to all of our lives—an experience, a reality, perhaps a problem, a challenge, something that is sometimes a source of joy, sometimes a cause of tragedy."

Farley examines the nature and meaning of commitment as it is played out in our lives, addressing love, fidelity, a sense of obligation, and covenant. She also reflects on whether each and every commitment must be kept, and what options are available in changing commitments.

Praise for the first edition of Personal Commitments

"A brilliant study, in the literal sense that it brings needed light and clarity to a great deal of our everyday experience of sorting out, changing, reaffirming, attempting to prioritize, and wrestling with the constantly varying demands of our many freely chosen commitments."—Anne E. Patrick

Margaret A. Farley, a Sister of Mercy, is professor emerita of ethics at Yale University and a past-president of the Catholic Theological Society of America. She is the author of several books, including Just Love: A Framework for Christian Sexual Ethics (Continuum, 2008).

Book Details

Personal Commitments
Beginning, Keeping, Changing
Second Edition
Margaret A. Farley
File name Filesize
Personal Commitments Table of Contents 517 Kb
This revised edition of Margaret A. Farley’s exquisite work exploring the nature and longevity of commitment, almost 30 years following the original publication(1986), marks its place as a quiet, classic text in contemporary Christian
theology.... It is a wonderful resource for undergraduate or graduate courses in moral theology, particularly those specific to marriage, relationship, and/or discernment. It also serves as a cogent model of theological exploration that is simultaneously accessible and sophisticated. accessible and thorough examination of both the limits and possibilities of commitment.
". . . fills a gaping hole, when dealing with the ethical and theological foundations of any life-long commitment. I foresee that it could be especially helpful in three specific areas: First, when used at the very beginning of any theology course on Christian Marriage, it could clearly help to establish a better foundation for later discussions on topics such as discerning a vocation to marriage, the sacramental meaning of marriage, basic canonical requirements and impediments to a commitment, sexual ethics, procreation, the nuptial liturgy, etc - topics which often consume the bulk of very limited time in a semester-long course. Second, it will clearly benefit the vocational discernment process of individuals who enter seminary formation programs, novitiate communities and houses of study. Finally, this text will continue to be helpful to counselors and pastoral ministers who deal with the variety of vocations within Church communities."
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