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Title: A critique of selected sources of moral theology in the Irish context from the perspective of one socially-excluded, inner city Dublin community
Author: Logue, Pauline Anne
ISNI:       0000 0001 3612 1961
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2008
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This thesis is a contribution to the field of social ethics. Employing a process of ethnographic ethics, it provides an analysis of inner city ethics, within the Irish context. Taking the case of the Fatima Mansions social housing estate, inner city Dublin, the thesis examines whether one socially excluded, inner city community has distinctive moral values, codes and practices, which, when systematically documented and analysed, might provide the basis of a critique of selected formal sources of moral theology in the Irish context. The thesis begins with an overview of the context of research, both at the micro level of the Fatima Mansions community and at the macro level of Irish society (chapter one). A geographical, historical, social and religious profile of the Fatima Mansions community is provided in order to locate its distinctive value system and moral practice. An overview of dominant values in wider Irish society follows, which acts as a foundation for a subsequent critique of selected sources of moral theology in the Irish context A detailed justification of the practical, theoretical and ethical dimensions of the multi-method ethnographic research methodology employed in this thesis is outlined (chapter two). An analysis of the primary research data is then presented in the form of an original 'thick description' of inner city ethics, based upon recurring cultural themes (chapter three). This analysis is further illuminated by a dialogue with mujerista and womanist theologies (chapter four). Finally, an in-depth critical examination of two selected sources of moral theology in the Irish context is conducted, from the perspective of the hermeneutic of a Fatima ethics (chapters five and six). The selected sources are publications by the Irish Roman Catholic Episcopal Conference and publications in selected Irish theological journals. The concluding chapter (seven) examines the wider relevance of the research. This thesis identifies a communitarian survival ethics operative in Fatima Mansions, which differs from that of the dominant value system in Irish society. Moreover, the community's values and moral practice are shown to have an inherent logic within the context of social exclusion. The thesis also confirms and critically explores the failure of selected formal sources of moral theology, critiqued in this work, to engage with central values, moral insights and moral experiences of the inner city. The wider relevance of this research, with respect to formal sources of moral theology in the Irish context, inner city ethics and a contextual theology/ spirituality of the Irish inner city (and beyond), is examined in some detail. Finally, the replicability of the research process, as a "cultural themes process model", is outlined.
Supervisor: Knott, Kim Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available