Branch of theol. knowledge related to pastoral theol., though usually regarded as a branch of ethics, dealing with the solution of doubtful cases of conscience or questions of right and wrong according to Scripture.
The Talmud* shows the minute differentiations to which casuistry may attain. The RC system of penance and absolution led to the writing of books on casuistry which listed sins and weighed circumstances with dialectical skill. One of the earliest of such works is Raymond of Peñafort's Summa de casibus poenitentiae. Others followed: Astesana, Angelica, Pisana (or Pisanella, also called Bartholina or Magistruccia), Pacifica, Rosella, Sylvestrina. Jesuits introduced the term moral theology for casuistry (e.g., Liguori,* Theologia moralis). Luther's Von der Freiheit eines Christenmenschen struck at the very roots of RC casuistry by emphasizing that the individual must stand or fall by himself. Melanchthon's Consilia is an example of Luth. casuistry. Other Luths. who wrote on casuistry: Balduin,* J. F. König,* J. K. Dannhauer.* Early Ref. work: W. Perkins,* The Whole Treatise of Cases of Conscience, Distinguished into Three Books. Modern Luth. treatments of casuistry are to be sought in books on pastoral* theology, ethics,* and works treating phases of Christian life.
Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
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