Theological ethics, moral philosophy, and natural law

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 4 (4):349-364 (2001)
The article deals with the relationship between theological <span class='Hi'>ethics</span> and <span class='Hi'>moral</span> <span class='Hi'>philosophy</span>. The former is seen as a theoretical reflection on Christian <span class='Hi'>ethics</span>, the latter as one on secular <span class='Hi'>ethics</span>. The main questions asked are: (1) Is there one and only one pre-theoretical knowledge about acting rightly? (2) Does <span class='Hi'>philosophy</span> provide us with the theoretical framework for understanding both Christian and secular <span class='Hi'>ethics</span>? Both questions are answered in the negative. In the course of argument, four positions are presented: theological unificationism, philosophical unificationism, theological separationism and Lutheran dualism. It is argued that the latter position is most convincing. It is dual in the sense of being both a theory of Christian <span class='Hi'>ethics</span> and of including a recognition of natural law. Hence, it unites a particularistic and a universalistic point of view. In the last section a reformulation of the Lutheran position is attempted in making use of the ethical theory of Knud E. Løgstrup''s The Ethical Demand.
Keywords Christian ethics  secular ethics  Lutheran ethics  natural law  particularism  universalism  ethics of interdependence
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DOI 10.1023/A:1013318824823
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