The 's Theory Of Moral Development

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Catherine of Siena was born in 1347, the twenty-forth child in her family. At the young age of seven, she is said to have dedicated her virginity to God and began living a strict life of discipline that included severe fasting and flagellating herself. When she was fifteen she decided to join The Third Order of St. Dominic in resistance to her parent 's attempts to marry her off. In order to make herself unattractive to suitors she cut off all of her hair, and after a bout of smallpox she praised God for the scars left on her face. Around the age of twenty, after joining the convent, Catherine had her first "mystical communion with Jesus Christ" (Mystics, Visionaries, and Prophets, 209). This time marks a turning point in her life where she began to lessen her self-harming practices and started to speak out openly against the injustices of the church. Kohlberg 's Theory of Moral Development states that, "moral reasoning, the basis for ethical behavior, has six identifiable developmental stages, each more adequate at responding to moral dilemmas than its predecessor." Kohlberg 's principle concern was justice, or an Ethic of Rights, that would lead persons on a path to truth. Using his model, one can trace Catherine 's moral development from her adolescence through her later life. In the beginning of her life, Catherine had a pre-conventional notion of right and wrong that recognized the needs of others, such as her parents, but placed her own spiritual and emotional needs
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