Seminary/School of Divinity
Date of Paper/Work
Master of Arts in Theology (M.A.)
Type of Paper/Work
Dr. Bernard Brady Ph.D., Dr. Christopher Thompson Ph.D., Dr. Christian D. Washburn Ph.D.
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.
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Voelker, Shannon, "The Christian Conscience: Where Our Freedom and the Truth Intersect" (2018). School of Divinity Master’s Theses and Projects. 19.