Ethical Analysis and Advocacy

Instructor: Miguel A. De La Torre


Office Hours: Arranged by email

TA: Grego Pena Camprubi | Email:

Course Synopsis:


  1. To teach students how to identify ethical and theological assumptions implicit in the moral life of persons and communities.
  2. To teach students to examine critically their own ethical assumptions as well as prevailing ethical assumptions in faith communities and society.
  3. To teach selected options in contemporary religious ethical theory, with special emphasis on Christian ethical theory.
  4. To enable students to develop an understanding of ethics which they can articulate and advocate with critical awareness as religious leaders.
  5. To relate theoretical ethical perspectives to select issues in church and society, especially those germane to pastoral practice.


  1. Participation in forum post discussions.  Specific kinds of preparation will be required.
  1. Complete required readings by the date they are to be discussed.
  1. Mid-term take-home examination.  Maximum Length:  10 pages, typed, double-spaced.
  1. Final take-home examination.  Maximum length: 10 pages, typed, double-spaced. 


This quarter, we'll be having several Zoom meeting sessions as a way of communicating "in person" as well as through the online discussion forums.  These sessions will be a great way to talk about the readings and pose questions and comments in live format, and get some face time with your instructors!  Please attend at least three of the sessions.

We'll be holding them on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday evenings from 6:00pm to 6:45pm MST.

The meetings will be held on the following dates:

Monday 3/29  Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:

Tuesday 4/6 Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:

Thursday 4/15  Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:

Thursday 4/22  Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or

Thursday 4/29  Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:

Tuesday 5/4  Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:

Monday 5/10  Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:

Thursday 5/20  Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:


Book Discussion

Each week, the TA will serve as the facilitator for our discussions. The role of
the facilitators is to post questions to stimulate class discussion around the book
and other related course materials. These questions are intended to extend the
conversation beyond the 5 analysis questions, but may launch from this initial
reading analysis.

a) These conversations are an important space for our learning in this
class, so please take these postings seriously and don’t be afraid to
post more often than required. Some suggestions for types of questions

i) Connect the present book to other course material

ii) Share any questions that remained unanswered during your reading of the book

iii) Connect the present book to current events related to course material

iv) Ways in which the author’s ideological location might influence thesis or method and the ramifications.

v) Controversial or difficult topics raised in the book that could use further discussion

Weekly Forum Discussion Instructions

i)Questions for Discussion - by Monday at 12:00am
Each week, the TA will post a question or questions for discussion. You are welcome to begin responding as soon as they are posted.

ii) Initial Response - by Wednesday at Midnight
All students must post a substantial response to the prompts posted by the TA or extending the conversation by responding to another student. Please be sure to keep all posts under the original thread.

iii) Comments and Conversation - by Sunday at 8:00pm

Everyone must post a minimum of one additional substantial contribution to the conversation.

After reading the assigned book for the week, students are required to answer these 5 questions based on the reading, send them in writing to the TA's email or on Canvas by Fridays at 8 pm. The purpose is to make sure that everyone is reading the material, besides to help analyze each book. The answer should be short, in bullet form is fine, no longer than a page. This is not a graded assignment. Below are the five questions:

1. The author: who is the author and their background, how their context and background might influence their writing.
2. Thesis of the book: what is the main argument of the book.
3. Methodology and theory: who are the theorists the author engages with, what methodology does the author use.
4. Ethical issues: how does the book further your understanding of some ethical issues.
5. Takeaways: your takeaways from the book.

Required Readings

Order of Readings:

Week 1 (3/22) Kant Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals

Week 2 (3/29) Sheldon In His Steps

Week 3 (4/5) Fletcher Situation Ethics

Week 4 (4/12) De La Torre Doing Christian Ethics from the Margins

Week 5 (4/19) De La Torre Latina/o Social Ethics

Week 6 (4/26) Alinsky Rules for Radicals

Week 7 (5/3) hooks Ain't I A Woman

Week 8 (5/10) Jones and  Smith Spirit and Capital in an Age of Inequality

Week 9 (5/17) Cone, Martin & Malcolm & America

Week 10 (5/24) Final Exam

Mar 24, 2021WedIntroductionsdue by 05:59AM
Mar 29, 2021Mon5 Questions Assignment -- Kantdue by 05:59AM
Mar 31, 2021WedDeliberative Motif Lecturedue by 05:58AM
Apr 05, 2021MonKant Discussiondue by 02:00AM
Apr 07, 2021WedPrescriptive Motif Lecturedue by 05:58AM
Apr 10, 2021Sat5 Questions Assignment -- Sheldondue by 02:00AM
Apr 12, 2021MonSheldon Discussiondue by 02:00AM
Apr 14, 2021WedRelational Motif Lecturedue by 05:58AM
Apr 17, 2021Sat5 Questions Assignment -- Fletcherdue by 02:00AM
Apr 19, 2021MonFletcher Discussiondue by 02:00AM
Apr 21, 2021WedLiberationist Lecturedue by 05:58AM
Apr 24, 2021Sat5 Questions Assignment -- De La Torre 1due by 02:00AM
Apr 26, 2021MonDe La Torre Discussion #1due by 02:00AM
Apr 28, 2021WedPostmodern/Postcolonial Lecturedue by 05:58AM
May 01, 2021Sat5 Questions Assignment -- De La Torre 2due by 02:00AM
May 01, 2021SatMidtermdue by 05:59AM
May 03, 2021MonDe La Torre Discussion #2due by 02:00AM
May 05, 2021WedPolitical Ethics Materialsdue by 05:58AM
May 08, 2021Sat5 Questions Assignment -- Alinskydue by 02:00AM
May 10, 2021MonAlinsky Discussiondue by 02:00AM
May 12, 2021WedGender Ethics Materialsdue by 05:58AM
May 15, 2021Sat5 Questions Assignment -- hooksdue by 02:00AM
May 17, 2021Monhooks Discussiondue by 02:00AM
May 19, 2021WedClass Ethics Materialsdue by 05:58AM
May 22, 2021Sat5 Questions Assignment -- Jones & Smithdue by 02:00AM
May 24, 2021MonJones & Smith Discussiondue by 02:00AM
May 26, 2021WedRace Ethics Materialsdue by 05:58AM
May 27, 2021ThuFinal Examdue by 05:59AM
May 29, 2021Sat5 Questions Assignment -- Conedue by 02:00AM
May 31, 2021MonCone Discussiondue by 02:00AM