Date of Submission



The concept of the covenant between the generations was proposed by Pope John Paul II in the document “Evangelium vitae” paragraph 94 as a means of expressing love and solidarity for the elderly in the family and in the community against the growing treat of marginalisation and the acceptance of euthanasia. The aim of the thesis is to affirm the love and responsibility of adults for their parents and the parental generation in the community and to provide for a renewal of the bonds of love and solidarity that begin in the family between the generations, especially for its weak and vulnerable members such as the young and the elderly. The research brings to light the rich theology of the covenant between the generations based upon Karol Wojtyla’s key philosophical and theological ideas. Wojtyla’s perspective of the human person is covenantal, one of being-in-relationship that is founded on love of God and love of neighbour which begins in the family. Finally, in the thesis this is contrasted with Peter Singer’s utilitarian ethics which is based upon independence, personal preference, the minimisation of suffering, exclusion and the acceptance of euthanasia. The concept of the covenant between the generations can lead to an understanding of intergenerational solidarity beginning in the family. It has implications for policy development in healthcare, pastoral care, and ethics for healthcare professionals. Also, the concept can contribute to the promotion of intergenerational solidarity in politics and government legislation, in order to protect the human person, especially the elderly as a subject of rights and the just allocation of healthcare resources. The love and solidarity between the generations that the concept of the covenant between the generations promotes ensures that every human being is the subject and object of love beginning in the family.


School of Theology

Document Type


Access Rights

Open Access


279 pages

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Faculty of Theology and Philosophy

Included in

Christianity Commons