A SENSE OF LIFE, A SENSE OF SIN by Eugene Kennedy

A SENSE OF LIFE, A SENSE OF SIN

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Though ours is a time in which moral issues have regained some prominence, meaningful talk about enduring ethical principles has been in lamentable short supply. Priest-psychologist Kennedy meets the challenge, at least partially, with this essay on moral living. In it he articulates a sound moral sense specifically for those American Catholics, newly liberated from an obsessive concern with obeying ecclesiastical rules, yet disillusioned with the romantic euphoria of the early '60's. He argues for an ethical style based not on cowering compliance with a rigid code of right and wrong but on an ongoing sensitivity to the person we are and want to become, and responsibility for the shape we give our own and others' lives. It is the direction of our lives, day-to-day, that is moral or immoral, life-enhancing or not; sinning is deliberately acting in ways that diminish or destroy life. Kennedy doesn't break new theoretical ground in moral theology, but he succeeds in making its wisest precepts generally available, Because he purposely avoids codifying behavior, he is more precise in diagnosing the current Catholic malaise than in prescribing correctives, and specific urgent issues remain largely unaddressed. But the book deserves consideration and a wider audience than the knowledgeable Catholics to whom it will be most accessible.

Pub Date: Aug. 8th, 1975
Publisher: Doubleday