Date of Award

2002

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Schools and Centres

Philosophy and Theology

First Supervisor

Roger Woods

Abstract

Dialogues with two Catholic institutions in Korea and the Philippines concerned with those suffering from AIDS and working to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS highlight the ambiguities and contradictions in both current knowledge and attitudes. Among the general public and church members there is considerable misunderstanding about the issues both the nature of the disease and the Church's moral teaching. Catholic institutions and secular based NGOs reveal the importance of interactive social networks in promoting positive responses in the face of widespread prejudice and stigmatization.

Suffering arising from HIV/AIDS presents a challenge to promote an ethics of relieving the misery of the poor and abandoned everywhere. The teachings of Thomas Aquinas on the affective virtues that highlight the importance of moral development as a form of empowerment provide important guides to action in the face of the global HIV/AIDS pandemic. The dissertation argues that it is by building new forms of community in response to the Gospel of Jesus we can engender an ethics of virtue and compassion that is not only an appropriate response to AIDS but an important approach to evangelism at this time.

A Thesis submitted in partial fulfillment for The Degree of Master of Arts in Theological Studies

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