Sophia Institute Press
Handbook of Moral Theology
For those seeking answers to Catholic moral questions: “Look it up in Prümmer!”
First published in 1921, Fr. Prümmer’s Handbook of Moral Theology was immediately regarded as an international classic. The author’s clarity of vision, precision of expression, and humble fidelity to the traditional Catholic moral framework during a period of social upheaval and increasing doctrinal deviation made his manual the standard reference text for generations of clergy, seminarians, and laity.
At long last, this Centenary Edition of Fr. Prümmer’s Handbook of Moral Theology faithfully recovers the original English translation of 1956, with fresh typography and header styles to make Fr. Prümmer’s original text much easier to navigate and more pleasant to read. Images from earlier manuscripts have been entirely restored, and the scattered in-text references have been relocated to orderly footnotes.
The many annotation errors that plagued earlier editions have been painstakingly corrected, and scores of additional citations have been included from Aquinas’ Summa Theologiae, Denzinger’s Enchiridion, and Pius V’s Roman Catechism — three of the author’s favorite sources. The topical index has likewise been expanded, to include technical moral terms of more recent use (such as “double effect”) and allow for more rapid contemporary reference.
After an excellent foreword by Fr. Chad Ripperger, the author gives a brilliant introduction to the science of moral theology, with part 1 exploring the end of man and all aspects of human conduct, and part 2 examining the sacraments and sacramentals in the Catholic moral life.
These packed pages contain the traditional Catholic moral teachings on:
- Law, conscience, sin, and the passions — with their respective types, causes, and effects
- Divine rights and obligations in Christian family life and civil society
- Excommunication and other penalties
- Indulgences and how to obtain them
- Scandal and moral cooperation in evil
In our own time of widespread confusion and decay, Fr. Prümmer’s Handbook is a clear and thorough Catholic source book of the Church’s moral doctrine as it was received and taught before the laxity and innovations of the last century.
Far more than a work of mere historical interest, this surprisingly relevant guide to Christian moral perfection is a treasure that will endure as long as there are souls seeking eternal life.
DOMINIC M. PRÜMMER, O.P., (1866–1931) was a Dominican priest, canon lawyer, and theology professor at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland. He was the author of several books and editor of Fontes Vitae S. Thomae Aquinatis, the celebrated critical life of St. Thomas Aquinas.