Seminary/School of Divinity


Spring 2018

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Theology (M.A.)

Type of Paper/Work



Bernard Brady

Second Advisor

Christopher Thompson

Third Advisor

Christian D. Washburn


The aim of this paper is to root the meaning of conscience within Thomistic tradition, along the way establishing the claim that subjective human freedom is founded upon objective truth. Following a brief historical analysis of the term conscience, we examine three commonly experienced manifestations of conscience: inner voice, practical judgment, and the lifelong process of virtue. Further on, these manifestations are rooted in Thomistic tradition, demonstrating their compatibility with Catholic Church teachings. We also discuss our responsibility to both follow and form our consciences and the relationship between our freedom and the laws which direct us to our personal and objective good. The conclusion is that true freedom is based upon and protected by natural and divine laws; in forming our consciences according to these laws, we empower our consciences to bring us more readily to our final end of ultimate happiness and the communion with God for which we were made.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.