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10 - Conscience

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 May 2009

Ian Ker
Affiliation:
St Benet's Hall, Oxford
Terrence Merrigan
Affiliation:
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
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Summary

Newman gives his views on conscience mainly in two contexts. As one would expect, he considers the role of conscience in moral decision-making. How does a person arrive at conscientious moral judgements? What is the content of such judgements? How should one resolve conflicts between one's own conscientious moral judgement and the views of others whom one accepts as authorities to whom one owes due respect? More surprisingly, Newman discusses the role which conscience might play in grounding a person's belief in God. How is one to account for the particular force which the claims of conscience make upon us, and the very personal nature of those claims? Is there any sense in which conscience must be thought of as the voice of God? The two main sections of this chapter will therefore consider Newman's views on the role of conscience in morality and in theology. / Conscience and moral judgement / Newman prefaces his discussions of conscience with two important sets of qualifications which he insists must be borne in mind throughout his entire treatment. One is concerned with academic discussions about the extent to which our conscientious judgements are conditioned; and the other is the less rigorous but perhaps more widespread assumption that nobody else is ever entitled to criticize one's own conscientious judgements.

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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2009

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  • Conscience
  • Edited by Ian Ker, St Benet's Hall, Oxford, Terrence Merrigan, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
  • Book: The Cambridge Companion to John Henry Newman
  • Online publication: 28 May 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CCOL9780521871860.010
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  • Conscience
  • Edited by Ian Ker, St Benet's Hall, Oxford, Terrence Merrigan, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
  • Book: The Cambridge Companion to John Henry Newman
  • Online publication: 28 May 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CCOL9780521871860.010
Available formats
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Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Conscience
  • Edited by Ian Ker, St Benet's Hall, Oxford, Terrence Merrigan, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium
  • Book: The Cambridge Companion to John Henry Newman
  • Online publication: 28 May 2009
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CCOL9780521871860.010
Available formats
×