6.4.3 Review and discussion of Unit 6

Back to 6.4.2

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You are now at the end of Unit 6.  As at the end of earlier units, this page outlines two ways of reviewing what you have learned in this unit.

First open Unit 6 Contents to remind yourself of what has been covered.

A.        Assessing the ‘learning outcomes’

First, look again at the learning outcomes for this unit (given in 6.1.1). As reproduced below, they show where in the unit each of them was most directly addressed.

Learning outcomes for Unit 6

By the end of this unit, you will be able

  • to articulate how your own experience of positives and negatives in family life sets a context for your study of CST on this topic
  • to explain fundamental points in CST’s vision of human wellbeing and what it means by ‘natural law’
  • to name and discuss critically the main elements in CST on family life in society, especially as presented in Familiaris Consortio
  • to give examples of ways in which ordinary practices of family life can be consistent (or inconsistent) with CST.

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How easily do you think you could do these things?

The third is the most challenging.  However if you have studied the text of Familiaris Consortio in the way the unit enables, you should be in a position to do that, even if only with preparation.

B.       Discussing your study

As with earlier units, how you can best discuss with others what you have encountered in this unit will depend on your context of study:

  • If you are studying formally, you may be expected to participate in a seminar on what you have read for Unit 6.  One student might be asked to prepare a discussion paper.
  • If you are studying informally in a parish, other Christian community or workplace, try to arrange an opportunity for discussion.
  • If you are doing private study, you may like to post your reactions to it at Comments on Unit 6.  If you do, I’ll respond.

Whichever of the above applies to you, your study will have provoked questions.  There have been three ‘exercises’ in this unit:

  • In 6.1.1 on how has the topic of family life came up in earlier units
  • In 6.1.2 on your experience of family life
  • In 6.3.7 on what Lisa Sowle Cahill sees as strengths and weaknesses of the ‘domestic church’ metaphor in Familiaris Consortio.

Here are some questions for discussion:

1.  Open here the Contents page of Familiaris Consortio.

In the course of this unit you have read:

Part 1, ‘Bright Spots and Shadows for the Family Today’ (in 6.1.3)

Part 2, ‘The Plan of God for Marriage and the Family’ (6.3.3)

Much of Part 3, ‘The Role of the Christian Family’, namely:

  • introduction (#17) (6.3.3)
  • 3.I, ‘Forming a Community of Persons’ (6.3.3 / 6.3.6)
  • 3.II, ‘Participating in the Development of Society’ (6.3.6)
  • part of 3.IV, ‘Sharing in the Life and Mission of the Church’ (6.3.6)

In relation to the parts of Familiaris Consortio that you have read – and the commentary/explanation given on screen (especially in 6.3.3, 6.3.4 and 6.3.5) – what do you see as: 

  • the most appealing and convincing aspects of FC’s teaching?
  • aspects that strike you – or might strike others, you think – as hard to take or open to strong counter-argument?

2.  How does Familiaris Consortio’s teaching about marriage and family fit together with CST’s overall vision of ‘integral human development’, i.e. of living life to the full?

3.  Re-read the ‘response’ to the exercise about FC’s ‘domestic church’ metaphor: 6.3.7 Response to Exercise.

Have you ever come across this idea of family as ‘domestic church’ before studying this unit?

To what extent do you agree with Cahill’s assessment of its strengths and weakness?

Try to identify some practical ways in which this metaphor really can be helpful in family life?

4.  Recalling Julie Hanlon Rubio’s emphasis, not on particular things that families can do as one-off actions, but on the regular practices that form family life…

In what ways does CST’s perspective on family life, as you have encountered it in the whole of this unit, provoke you to rethink and revise your (current or future) family/household practices in the five areas that Hanlon Rubio focuses on:

sex… money… eating… prayer… service?

5.  Familiaris Consortio, published in 1981, was issued in the year after a global Synod of Bishops on family life.  I noted at the start of the unit that the first Synod of Bishops since then to focus on family life is due to take place in October 2014.  This is likely to be followed by a similar papal document in 2015.

In light of your study of this unit, what do you see as the main issues to be addressed at the Synod in 2014 and in the subsequent papal statement?

If you had the opportunity, what would you advise the bishops, and Pope Francis, to say? 

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End of Unit 6

Go to COMMENTS ON UNIT 6

 

Go to Module A Outline

 

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