Ethics and Culture

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The Ethics and Culture Department of St. John Paul II Catholic High School responds to the proposal of the New Evangelization. Some aspects of modern culture present fundamentally flawed ideas about the human person. Not understanding our unique dignity, immortal identity, and our call to friendship with God, we become burdened by difficulties and material worries. The New Evangelization asks us to find new ways to propose the Good News of the Splendor of Christ to those we meet, so that all may enjoy the true freedom and eternal happiness for which we were created.

The Ethics and Culture Department gives students the following abilities:

  • see the inherent dignity bestowed on each human person;

  • understand morality as a road map to true and eternal happiness;

  • acquire logical habits of thinking in accord with right reason to discern what will bring true fulfillment to our human nature;

  • understand the complementary relationship between faith and reason;

  • understand the role of culture in forming and shaping the way we see ourselves, others, the world, and God.

The Ethics and Culture program, a four-year philosophical and cross-curricular study, teaches students to understand their own unique dignity as human persons in their freshman year, and teaches the elements of a moral act that lead to lasting happiness during the sophomore year. With this ethical foundation, John Paul II students as juniors learn how to make wise personal decisions for themselves. They study bioethics as distinct from biotechnology. They also learn how to promote and defend ethical policies and practices which advance the common good and bring greater respect for the dignity of the human person. They will end their senior study with an Ethics and Culture project that transforms some aspect of our society into a beacon of light for a culture of life.

Ethics Department

Ms. Morris   B.A. The Catholic University of America  M.S. Loyola University of Chicago

Ms. Morris

B.A. The Catholic University of America

M.S. Loyola University of Chicago

Mr. Leccese   B.A. Franciscan University  M.A. Franciscan University

Mr. Leccese

B.A. Franciscan University

M.A. Franciscan University


Ética y Cultura

El Departamento de Ética y Cultura se dirige a la Nueva Evangelización. Hay aspectos de la cultura moderna que presentan ideas defectuosas sobre la persona humana. Al no entender nuestra dignidad única, nuestra identidad como inmortales, y nuestra invitación a gozar la amistad de Dios, nos preocupamos en vano de las dificultades materiales y ansiedades del presente. La Nueva Evangelización nos llama para proponer la Buena Nueva del Esplendor de Cristo a nuestros vecinos, para que todos puedan gozar de la verdadera libertad y la felicidad sin fin para la cual fuimos creados.

La Departamento de Ética y Cultura forma en los estudiantes las habilidades siguientes:

  • ver la dignidad inherente de cada persona humana;

  • entender la moralidad como un mapa que nos conduce a nuestro gozo eterno;

  • adquirir hábitos lógicos de pensar lógicamente de acuerdo con la razón correcta para discernir lo que nos traerá la verdadera satisfacción según nuestra naturaleza humana;

  • comprender la relación complementaria entre la fe y la razón;

  • comprender el papel de la cultura en la formación y configuración de la manera en que nos vemos a nosotros mismos, a los demás, al mundo y a Dios.

El programa de Ética y Cultura, un estudio filosófico y transversal de cuatro años, enseña en su primer año a los estudiantes a entender su propia dignidad como personas humanas, y durante el segundo año enseña los elementos de un acto moral que conducen a una felicidad duradera. Con esta base ética, los estudiantes en su tercer año aprenden a tomar decisiones personales prudentes por sí mismos. Ellos estudian la bioética como distinta de la biotecnología. También aprenden a promover y defender políticas y prácticas éticas que promuevan el bien común y traigan mayor respeto a la dignidad de la persona humana. En su cuarto año terminarán su estudio con un proyecto de Ética y Cultura que transforma algún aspecto de nuestra sociedad en un faro de luz para una cultura de la vida.

Book List

Texts; Recommended Literature; Pope John Paul II's Writings

9th The Human Person

The Human Person: Dignity beyond Compare, Auer

Frankenstein, Shelley

Theology of the Body, Pope John Paul II

10th Principles of Ethics

Called to Happiness: Principles of Ethics, Auer

Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde, Stevenson

Selection from Crime and Punishment, Dostoyevsky

Selections from Veritatis Splendor, Pope John Paul II

11th Bioethics

Biomedicine and Beatitude: An Introduction to Catholic Bioethics, Austriaco

“Rapaccini’s Daughter,” or “The Birthmark”, Hawthorne

Antigone, Sophocles

Selections from Pope John Paul’s writings

12th Leadership Seminar

Reclaiming Catholic Social Teaching: A Defense of the Church's True Teachings on Marriage, Family, and the State, Esolen

The Legacy of Pope John Paul II, Shreck

Pope John Paul II at the United Nations, 5 October 1995: “in extreme circumstances it is precisely its culture that enables a nation to survive the loss of political and economic independence.”