The Sermon on the Mount is not abstract idealism. It connects to our political contest not least because it insists on the big questions of purpose and ends and how society should be ordered. Rooted in the Old Testament focus on the fair distribution of wealth (ensuring the poor get priority) – cf. Proverbs 2, 8, 9, 14, 15, 29 – the Sermon is a programme for social citizenship and local community development.
The Common Good and ChristianEthics rethinks the ancient tradition of the common good in a way that addresses contemporary social divisions, both urban and global. David Hollenbach draws on social analysis, moral philosophy, and theological ethics to chart new directions in both urban life and global society. He argues that the division between the middle class and the poor in major cities and the challenges of globalisation require a new commitment to the common good and that (...) both believers and secular people must move towards new forms of solidarity if they are to live good lives together. Hollenbach proposes a positive vision of how a reconstructed understanding of the common good can lead to better lives for all today, both in cities and globally. This interdisciplinary study makes both practical and theoretical contributions to the developing shape of social, cultural, and religious life today. (shrink)
This book explores some current issues on the borderland between moral philosophy and Christian theology. Particular attention is paid to the issues at stake between liberals and communitarians and the dispute between realists, non-realists and quasi-realists. In the course of the discussion the writings of Alasdair MacIntyre, George Lindbeck and Stanley Hauerwas are examined. While sympathetic to many of the typical features of post-liberalism, the argument is critical at selected points in seeking to defend realism and accommodate some aspects (...) of liberalism. The position that emerges is more neo-Barthian than post-liberal. In maintaining the distinctiveness of Christianethics and community, the book also seeks to acknowledge common moral ground held by those within and without the church. (shrink)
This book addresses the question of the communication of Christianethics in the public forum of liberal, pluralist societies. Drawing on debates in philosophy, theology and sociological theory, it relates the problem of communication to fundamental questions about the nature of liberal societies and the identity of Christian faith and the Christian community. With particular emphasis on Kantian and neo-Kantian ethics, it explores the link between autonomy and community in liberal societies. The theology of communio, (...) expressed in revealed Christian traditions, can reconcile autonomy and community. Any Christian attempt to communicate this vision must also reflect on Christianity's own identity, especially the ways in which its own self-consciousness grows in critical interaction with secularity. In this light, Christian ethical communication is both a witness to a distinctive identity, founded in the revelation of the triune God, and a vision of universal human solidarity which can reconcile autonomy and community. (shrink)
This book addresses such key ethical issues as euthanasia, the environment, biotechnology, abortion, the family, sexual ethics, and the distribution of health care resources. Michael Banner argues that the task of Christianethics is to understand the world and humankind in the light of the credal affirmations of the Christian faith, and to explicate this understanding in its significance for human action through a critical engagement with the concerns, claims and problems of other ethics. He (...) illustrates both the distinctiveness of Christian convictions in relation to the above issues and also the critical dialogue with practices based on other convictions which this sense of distinctiveness motivates but does not prevent. The book's importance lies in its attempt to show the crucial difference which Christian belief makes to an understanding of these issues, whilst at the same time demonstrating some of the weaknesses and confusions of certain popular approaches to them. (shrink)
Under the title The Reformation of Morals , the tenth-century Syrian Orthodox scholar Yahya ibn 'Adi offered encouragement to the effort to promote moral perfection, especially among kings and other members of the social elite: his tract, on the social virtues and vices, gives extensive advice about the cultivation of the former and the extirpation of the latter. Where there are many echoes of Hellenistic moral philosophy in his presentation, the topical profile of the work and the language the author (...) uses reveal his participation in the Baghdad circle of philosophers and intellectuals--both Christian and Muslim--who were responsible for much that has come to be regarded as typical of the classical culture of the Islamic world. In fact, this text has occasionally been attributed to one or another famous Muslim author. It now stands as an important Christian contribution, in Arabic, to a strand of moral philosophy that is an integral component of the intellectual tradition of the world of Islam. (shrink)
Markets can often be harsh in compelling people to make unpalatable economic choices any reasonable person would not take under normal conditions. Thus workers laid off in mid-career accept lower paid jobs that are beneath their professional experience for want of better alternatives. Economic migrants leave their families and cross borders (legally or illegally) in search of a livelihood and countless Third World families rely on child labor to supplement meagre household incomes. These are examples of economic compulsion, an all-too-frequent (...) state of affairs in which people are driven to make choices under acute economic duress. These economic ripple effects of market operations have been virtually ignored in ethical discourse because they are generally accepted to be the very mechanisms that shape the market's much-touted allocative efficiency. Albino Barrera argues that Christian thought on economic security offers an effective framework within which to address the consequences of economic compulsion. (shrink)
Peter Sedgwick explores the relation of a theology of justice to that of human identity in the context of the market economy, and engages with critics of capitalism and the market. He examines three aspects of the market economy: firstly, how does it shape personal identity, through consumption and the experience of paid employment in relation to the work ethic? Secondly, what impact does the global economy have on local cultures? Finally, as manufacturing changes out of all recognition through the (...) impact of technology and global competition, what is the effect in terms of poverty? Drawing on the response of the Catholic Church, both in the United States and in Papal encyclicals, to the market economy from 1985-1991, Sedgwick argues that its involvement deserves to be better known. Moreover, he recommends that the churches remain part of the debate in reforming and humanising the market economy. (shrink)
This book is about the extent, origins and causes of the environmental crisis. Dr Northcott argues that Christianity has lost the biblical awareness of the inter-connectedness of all life. He shows how Christian theologians and believers might recover a more ecologically friendly belief system and life style. The author provides an important corrective to secular approaches to environmental ethics, including utilitarian individualism, animal rights theories and deep ecology. He contends that neither the stewardship tradition, nor the panentheist or (...) process ecological theologies have successfully mobilised the Christian tradition. He demonstrates that the Hebrew Bible contains an ecological message which is close to the traditions of many primal and indigenous peoples and which provides an important corrective to instrumental attitudes to nature in much modern philosophy and Christianethics. (shrink)
Justice and ChristianEthics is a study in the meaning and foundations of justice in modern society. Written from a theological perspective, its focus is upon the interaction of religion and law in their common pursuit of justice. Consideration is given, first, to the historical roots of justice in the classical tradition of virtue (Aristotle and Aquinas) and in the biblical ideas of covenant and the righteousness of God. Subsequent chapters trace the relationships between justice, law, and virtue (...) in Puritanism, in Locke, and in the founding documents of the American Republic in the late eighteenth century. In his concluding section, the author develops a covenantal interpretation of justice which includes both law and virtue, both human rights and the common good. Special attention is given to the pluralistic character of modern political societies; to criteria of distributive justice; and to religious resources for the renewal and transformation of justice. (shrink)
Introduction: to the student -- Ethics and Christianethics -- An overview of ethics -- Definitions -- Subject matter -- Assumptions -- Cautions -- Alternatives to Christianethics -- Religious systems -- Judaism -- Islam -- Hinduism -- Buddhism -- Humanism -- Objectivism -- Behaviorism -- Alternatives within Christianethics -- Obedience to external authority -- In Roman Catholicism -- In Protestantism -- Responsibility for personal decisions -- What am I to do? (...) -- What am I to be? -- Transforming society -- Reinhold Neibuhr's "impossible possibility" -- Paul Ramsey's "obedient love" -- James Gustafson's "theocentric ethics" -- Liberation theology -- Ethics and the Christian faith -- Sources of guidance -- The Bible -- The Christian community -- The nature of the church -- The function of the church -- The Christian in the church -- Personal experience -- The use of the mind -- The prompting of the conscience -- The leadership of the spirit -- Biblical ethics -- The Hebrew Scripture -- General characteristics of Hebrew morality -- The law, the prophets, and the writings -- Jesus and the Gospels -- Jesus and Judaism -- Characteristics of Jesus's ethical teachings -- Basic concepts in Jesus's ethical teachings -- The example of Jesus -- The ethical teachings of Paul -- Theology and ethics -- An ethic of responsible freedom -- An ethic of love -- An ethic of a new life -- Faith working through love -- Theological premises -- Beliefs about God -- Beliefs about humankind -- Beliefs about history -- Faith -- Faith and salvation -- Life in the Christian community -- The instruction of Scripture -- Worship and morality -- Love (agape) -- The nature of love -- The source of love -- The demands of love -- The relationship between love and justice -- Decision -- Christianethics and contemporary issues -- Human sexuality and the marriage relationship -- The current scene -- A Christian interpretation of sexuality -- A theological perspective -- Questions about the relationship -- A Christian interpretation of marriage -- Homosexuality and the Christian faith -- Contemporary social perspective -- A biblical perspective -- Varying Christian interpretations -- Homosexuality and the Christian way of live. (shrink)
The Christian does not live in a vacuum, says the author, but in a world of government, politics, labor, and marriage. Hence, Christianethics cannot exist in a vacuum what the Christian needs, claims Dietrich Bonhoeffer, is concrete instruction in a concrete situation. Although the author died before completing his work, this book is recognized as a major contribution to Christianethics. The root and ground of Christianethics, the author says, is (...) the reality of God as revealed in Jesus Christ. This reality is not manifest in the Church as distinct from the secular world such a juxtaposition of two separate spheres, Bonhoeffer insists, is a denial of God's having reconciled the whole world to himself in Christ. On the contrary, God's commandment is to be found and known in the Church, the family, labor, and government. His commandment permits man to live as man before God, in a world God made, with responsibility for the institutions of that world. (shrink)
Introduction -- Part I: Starting points -- Some decisions are easier than others -- Easy decisions -- More difficult decisions -- Moral dilemmas -- The deep basis of the moral life -- Practical decision making -- Why ethics is ultimately religious -- Acceptable and unacceptable forms of revelation -- The useful incomplete ness of religious tradition -- Moral virtue and character -- Intuition and deliberation in moral decision-making -- The absolute and the relative in moral life -- Have we (...) become too relativistic? -- The natural law approach -- God as the absolute -- Facts and values -- Individual integrity and communal authority -- The transcendent absolute -- Rules and relationships -- The moral burden of proof -- The legal analogy -- Applying the idea of "presumption" to ethical decision-making -- Moral presumptions as a common starting point -- Basic moral presumptions -- Uses of scripture -- Positive Christian value presumptions -- The limits and flaws in human nature -- Presumptions that preserve balance -- A presumption for Scripture and tradition -- When presumptions are in conflict -- Part II: Applications and illustrations -- Difficult personal decisions -- Sexual intimacy and family life -- Contraception and abortion -- Choosing a spouse -- Divorce -- Vocational choices -- The uses of our money -- Political choices -- Hard choices in the public arena -- Abortion -- Homosexuality -- The dilemma of "affirmative action" -- Securing economic justice -- Environmental policies -- Criminal justice -- Uses of military power -- Hard choices at the global level -- International institution building -- International security and policing -- Nuclear disarmament -- Economic globalization -- Global warming -- Hard choices in communities of faith. (shrink)
The purpose of this book is to formulate a way of thinking about issues of power, moral identity, and ethical norms by developing a theory of responsibility from a specifically theological viewpoint; the author thereby makes clear the significance for Christian commitment of current reflection on moral responsibility. The concept of responsibility is relatively new in ethics, but the drastic extension of human power through various technological developments has lately thrown into question the way human beings conceive of (...) themselves as morally accountable agents. It is this radical extension of power in our time which poses the need for a new paradigm of responsibility in ethics. Schweiker engages in an informed way with what is therefore a highly topical discussion. By developing a coherent theory of responsibility, and inquiring as to its source, the author demonstrates the unique contribution of Christian faith to ethics in our time. (shrink)
In this paper, I explore a new way of understanding Christianethics by critically interconnecting the theological meanings of the Aqedah ("binding") narrative of Mt. Moriah and the Passion story of Mt. Golgotha. Through an in-depth critical-theological investigation of the relation between these two biblical events, I argue that Christianethics is possible not so much as a moralization or as a literalistic divine command theory, but rather as a "covenantal-existential" response to God's will in the (...) impossible love on Mt. Moriah as well as in the Son's willing embrace of God's will on Mt. Golgotha. (shrink)
Introduction to the study of African Christianethics -- Foundations of contemporary African ethics -- Foundations of Western ethics -- Foundations of Christianethics -- Foundations of African Christianethics -- Applying African Christianethics -- Church and state -- War and violence -- Strikes -- Poverty -- Corruption -- Fund-raising -- Procreation and infertility -- Reproductive technologies -- Contraception -- Polygamy -- Domestic violence -- Divorce and remarriage -- Widows (...) and orphans -- Rape -- Incest -- Prostitution and sex trafficking -- Female circumcision -- Homosexuality -- HIV/AIDS -- Abortion -- Euthanasia and infanticide -- Strikes and medical services -- Drug and alcohol abuse -- Witchcraft. (shrink)
How can Christianethics make a significant contribution to health care ethics in today's Western, pluralistic society? Robin Gill examines the 'moral gaps' in secular accounts of health care ethics and the tensions within specifically theological accounts. He explores the healing stories in the Synoptic Gospels, identifying four core virtues present within them - compassion, care, faith and humility - that might bring greater depth to a purely secular interpretation of health care ethics. Each of (...) these virtues is examined in turn, using a range of topical issues including health care rationing, genetics, HIV/AIDS, withholding/withdrawing nutrition from PVS patients, and the empirical evidence which suggests a connection between religion and health. Professor Gill also argues that these four virtues are shared by other major religious and humanistic traditions and that, together with secular principles, they can enrich health care ethics even in a pluralistic society. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Preface; Part I. Theory: Material Cooperation in Economic Life: 1. The nature of material cooperation and moral complicity; 2. Complicity in what?: The problem of accumulative harms; 3. Too small and morally insignificant? The problem of overdetermination; 4. Who is morally responsible in the chain of causation? The problem of interdependence; Part II. Application: A Typology of Market-Mediated Complicity: A. Hard Complicity: 5. Benefiting from and enabling wrongdoing; 6. Precipitating gratuitous harms; B. Soft Complicity: 7. Leaving (...) severe pecuniary externalities unattended; 8. Reinforcing injurious socioeconomic structures; Part III. Synthesis and Conclusions: 9. Toward a theology of economic responsibility; 10. Synthesis: Christianethics and blameworthy material cooperation; References; Index. (shrink)
Introduction: the problem of estrangement from Scripture in Christianethics -- Learning about reading the Bible for ethics -- Reading self-consciously : the hermeneutic solution -- Reading together : the communitarian solution -- Focusing reading : the biblical ethics solution -- Reading doctrinally : the biblical theology solution -- Reading as meditation : the exegetical theology solution -- Listening to the saints encountering the ethos of Scripture -- Augustine's ethos of salvific confession -- Luther's ethos of (...) consoling doxology -- Singing the ethos of God -- Ethical exegesis : what have we encountered -- Exploring the place of Christianethics in Scripture. (shrink)
The story of God -- The story of the church -- The story of ethics -- The story of Christianethics -- Universal ethics -- Subversive ethics -- Ecclesial ethics -- Good order -- Good life -- Good relationships -- Good beginnings and endings -- Good earth.
Following the same formula as other Cambridge Companions, this book is written by leading international experts in Christianethics and is aimed at students on upper-level undergraduate courses, at teachers and at graduate students. It will be useful as well to ministers and other professionals within the church. Its eighteen chapters provide a thorough introduction to Christianethics which is both authoritative and up-to-date. All contributors have been chosen because they are significant scholars with a proven (...) track record of balanced, comprehensive and comprehensible writing. The Companion examines the scriptural bases of ethics, introduces a variety of approaches to ethics including those informed by considerations such as gender and by other faiths such as Judaism, and then discusses Christianethics in the context of contemporary issues including war and the arms trade, social justice, ecology, economics, and medicine and genetics. The book offers a superb overview of its subject. (shrink)
Feminists are aware of the diversity of thinking within their own tradition, and of the different approaches to moral questions in which that is manifest. This book describes and analyses that diversity by distinguishing three distinct paradigms of moral reasoning to be found within feminism. Using the writings of feminists, the major strengths and weaknesses of each theory are considered, so that creative dialogue between them can be encouraged. Three common themes are drawn out - which are also on the (...) agenda of new developments in philosophical and Christianethics: the search for an appropriate universalism, the possibility of a redemptive community and the development of a new humanism. Feminists may be encouraged, through this account of their considerable scholarship in ethical thinking, to contribute to these changes with their special concern for the lives and the fulfilment of women. (shrink)
Persons and actions in Christianethics -- Disruption of proper relation with God and others : sin and sins -- Intimacy with God and self-relation -- Fidelity to God and moral acting -- Truthfulness before God and naming moral actions -- Reconciliation in God and Christian life.
We are pleased to annouce that God’s Companions by Samuel Wells has been shortlisted for the 2007 Michael Ramsey Prize for theological writing. www.michaelramseyprize.org.uk Grounded in Samuel Wells’ experience of ordinary lives in poorer neighborhoods, this book presents a striking and imaginative approach to Christianethics. It argues that Christianethics is founded on God, on the practices of human community, and on worship, and that ethics is fundamentally a reflection of God's abundance. Wells synthesizes (...) dogmatic, liturgical, ethical, scriptural, and pastoral approaches to theology in order to make a bold claim for the centrality of the local church in theological reflection. He considers the abundance of gifts God gives through the practices of the Church, particularly the Eucharist. His central thesis, which governs his argument throughout, is that God gives his people everything they need to worship him, be his friends, and eat with him. Wells engages with serious scholarly material, yet sets out the issues lucidly for a student audience. (shrink)
Self love is an inescapable problem for ethics, yet much of contemporary ethics is reluctant to offer any normative moral anthropologies. Instead, secular ethics and contemporary culture promote a norm of self-realization which is subjective and uncritical. Christianethics also fails to address this problem directly, because it tends to investigate self love within the context of conflicts between the self's interests and those of her neighbors. Self Love and ChristianEthics argues for (...) right self love as the solution of proper self-relation that intersects with love for God and love for neighbor. Darlene Fozard Weaver explains that right self love entails a true self-understanding that is embodied in the person's concrete acts and relations. In making this argument, she calls upon ethicists to revisit ontological accounts of the self and to devote more attention to particular moral acts. (shrink)
Robin Gill argues that once moral communities (such as churchgoers) take centre stage in ethics - as they do in virtue ethics - then there should be a greater interest in sociological evidence about these communities. This book examines recent evidence, gathered from social attitude surveys, about church communities, in particular their views on faith, moral order and love. It shows that churchgoers are distinctive in their attitudes and behaviour. Some of their attitudes change over time, and there (...) are a number of obvious moral disagreements between different groups of churchgoers. Nonetheless, there are broad patterns of Christian beliefs, teleology and altruism which distinguish churchgoers as a whole from non-churchgoers. However, the values, virtues, moral attitudes and behaviour of churchgoers are shared by many other people as well. The distinctiveness of church communities in the modern world is thus real but relative, and is crucial for the task of Christianethics. (shrink)
Swezey, C. M. Introduction.--The burden of the ethical.--Faith, unbelief, and moral life.--Education for moral responsibility.--The theologian as prophet, preserver, or participant.--Moral discernment in the Christian life.--The place of Scripture in Christianethics.--The relation of the Gospels to the moral life.--Spiritual life and moral life.--The relevance of historical understanding.--Man--in light of social science and Christian faith.--The relationship of empirical science to moral thought.--What is the normatively human?--Basic ethical issues in the biomedical fields.--Genetic engineering and the normative view (...) of the human.--Bibliography of the writings of James M. Gustafson, 1951-1973 (p. 297-305). (shrink)
In Early ChristianEthics in Interaction with Jewish and Greco-Roman Contexts experts from various fields analyze the process of transformation of early Christianethics because of the ongoing interaction with Jewish, Greco-Roman and ...
The concept and definition of personhood is central to current debates over ethics. Should 'personhood', for example, determine the allocation of scarce medical resources, and its perceived absence allow the termination of life? In a wide-ranging discussion notable for its clarity, Stanley Rudman traces the development of modern ideas about personhood. He argues that concepts of person are socially constructed, and that the relational understanding of persons in a number of theological discussions can act as an important corrective to (...) the individualistic notions of person which have been popular in secular philosophy since the Enlightenment. Early Christian views of divine speech, communication and relations between the Trinity can help to define an ethic which understands personhood in relation to other people, to the environment, and to God. (shrink)