Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Philosophy (School of Philosophy and Theology)

Schools and Centres

Philosophy and Theology

First Supervisor

Renée Köhler-Ryan

Second Supervisor

Nigel Zimmermann


Catholic parliamentarians in Australia are often in decisive roles in parliamentary debates and play crucial roles in votes for and against particular Bills, deciding their fate in Parliaments. These Bills may often have a direct relationship to the conformity of laws in a parliamentary jurisdiction with the natural or moral law. The Catholic parliamentarian is both a Catholic and an elected representative, with implications for his or her life in parliament and upon decisions made as a parliamentarian. Impressing upon these parliamentarians is the traditional Catholic understanding of conscience in conformity with Apostolic Tradition that obliges adherence to the Magisterium and is not waived from the individual while in parliament, including for voting decisions. However, a recent theological phenomenon, revisionism, encourages the formation of conscience by recognising the self as the ultimate authority. This thesis explores the nature and implications of the claims of this conflict on the parliamentarian.

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