The subtitle of this 2010 work is: "From Confessing Sins to Liberating Consciences." Keenan describes the history of the changes in Catholic moral theology from mid twentieth century to the present. One theme is that moral theology has shifted from acts (sins) to agency (the circumstances, intentions, and experiences of the subject/actor). The moral theologians considered are shown to have moved beyond the "'all too often one-sidedly confession oriented, magisterium-dominated, canon law-related, sin-centered and seminary-controlled" approach that is described in Obach's book, THE CATHOLIC CHURCH ON MARITAL INTERCOURSE, a history that offers a far more positive understanding of the role of love and sexual pleasure in marriage.
This book, The Catholic Church on Marital Intercourse: From St. Paul to Pope John Paul II, provides a history of the Church's theology of marital sexuality from the first century through the twentieth. For nineteen centuries sexual activity between spouses was acceptable on the basis of procreation and "rendering the marriage debt." Only in the twentienth century did theologians begin to recognize that the dynamics of sexual relating and sexual pleasure are not only good and holy, but also that sexual loving enhances the love of husband and wife for each other. Pope John Paul II has begun the process of articulating a positive "theology of the body," the first of its kind since the beginnings of Christianity.