THL493 Theological Ethics (8)

This subject explores the connections between Christian theology and practice, philosophical and theological ethics, and ethical discernment in contemporary society. It examines the biblical, theological, ecclesial, philosophical and scientific resources for Christian ethical reflection and action. Distinctive features of Christian ethical reflection, moral judgements and moral practices are surveyed from various theological and historical perspectives. The subject also considers a range of ethical issues from areas such as politics, economics, war, the environment, medicine and sexuality.


Session 2 (60)
On Campus
Canberra Campus
Canberra Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: THL493. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Theology

Enrolment Restrictions

Not available to students who have completed THL326 Christian Ethics.

Assumed Knowledge

Students are recommended to have prior knowledge equivalent to or studied THL408, THL409, THL410, THL460.

Subject Relationships

THL326 Paired Subject

Incompatible Subjects


Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to articulate an advanced critical account of the theoretical nature of theological ethics;
  • be able to identify, articulate and evaluate key biblical, theological, ecclesial, philosophical and scientific resources for Christian ethical discernment and action;
  • be able to identify, articulate and evaluate the main features of the Christian tradition of moral and ethical argument;
  • be able both to analyse critically and to apply the resources of Christian theology and ethical thought to a range of contemporary issues, and to articulate a coherent response;
  • be able to reflect critically on their own ethical judgements; and
  • be able to demonstrate self-guided learning, including advanced research, writing and communication skills.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Part I: Is there a Christian ethic? Topics include: the nature of theological ethics; the formation of the moral self, including the relationship between ethics and spirituality; and ethics, practice and Christian community.
  • Part II: Sources of theological ethics in the Christian tradition, including: Scripture; ecclesial community and practice (including liturgical practices, tradition); philosophical theories of ethics and their relationship to Christian approaches; and the role of the empirical sciences.
  • Part III: Discerning a Christian ethic in the contemporary world, including topics from the following areas: politics, public theology; biotechnology and medicine, conceptions of the human person; war, violence, evil and suffering; the environment, justice and consumption, and sexuality.

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of THL493 in Session 2 2021. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Short essay
Expositional essay
Final essay

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: June 2022. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.