Introduction: The Christian confronts bioethics -- Foundations of bioethics -- Christianity and health care in a fallen world -- Theological doctrines -- Christian virtues -- The beginning of life -- Marriage, procreation, and contraception -- Assisted reproduction -- The human embryo -- The end of life -- Approaching death : dying as a way of life -- Suicide, euthanasia, and the distinction between killing and letting die -- Accepting and forgoing treatment.
An integrated overview of history The volume in this series are arranged topically to cover biography, literature, doctrines, practices, institutions, worship, missions, and daily life. Archaeology and art as well as writings are drawn on to illuminate the Christian movement in its early centuries. Ample attention is also given to the relation of Christianity to pagan thought and life, to the Roman state, to Judaism, and to doctrines and practices that came to be judged as heretical or (...) schismatic. Introductions to each volume tie the articles together for an integrated understanding of the history. Offers insights and understanding The aim of the collection is to give balanced and comprehensive coverage, selected on the basis of the following criteria: original and excellent research and writing; subject matter of use to teachers and students; groundbreaking importance for the history of research; background information for issues and opinions. Understanding the development of early Christianity and its impact on Western history and thought offers valuable insights into the modern world and the present state of Christiantiy. It also provides perspective on comparable developments in other periods of history and reveals human nature in its religious dimension. (shrink)
Recent scholarship has shown chattel slavery in the Roman Empire to have been a deeply oppressive experience. Paul knew that reality well and used the language of slavery metaphorically in Galatians and Romans to describe humanity's subjection to sin. However, he also made a remarkable shift in his use of the metaphor to indicate a new form of slavery to God which brings freedom, thereby subverting conventional ways of understanding slavery.In Paul's sense, slavery is an ineluctable part of human existence (...) in which we have a choice of being a slave to sin or a slave to God. Becoming a slave means giving up all claims to status and relates to Christ's humble-mindedness in Philippians. The slave is also a model of faithfulness, comparable with God's faithfulness to Israel and Christ's faithfulness to the mission given him by his Father. Being a slave (in Paul's sense) is at the heart of the Christianlife, exemplifying the ‘obedience of faith’, for it is through this faithfulness that we become righteous. (shrink)
From the perspective of cognitive linguistics, metaphor is a way of thinking and understanding rather than an ornamental device used for aesthetic purposes.Conceptual metaphor constitutes a natural device for comprehending those areas of reality that exceed what is describable by literal terms, including especially the sphere of religious experiences. The purpose of this essay is to analyze the conceptual metaphors employed by John Henry Newman in the first volume of his Parochial and Plain Sermons (1834) as a way of explaining (...) the transcendental character of the concept of Christianlife. (shrink)
Among the various descriptions of the Christianlife in Newman’s Parochial and Plain Sermons (1834–1843), the metaphor of war is prominent. This essay examines Newman’s extensive use of the metaphor of war from the viewpoint of cognitive semantics, which assumes that transcendental reality can only be conceived of and described in language that uses such conceptual mechanisms as image schemata, metaphor, metonymy, and conceptual blending. Analyzing the conceptual phenomena inherent in the metaphor of war provides both a better (...) understanding of Newman’s Parochial and Plain Sermons as well as a better appreciation of Newman’s understanding of the Christianlife. (shrink)
Persons and actions in Christian ethics -- 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 Christianlife.
In this paper, I argue by example for the possibility of genuine dilemmas internal to Christian ethics. My example is the life of Sebastian Rodrigues, who is the protagonist of Shusaku Endo's moving novel "Silence". The first part of the paper is devoted to retelling Endo's story, highlighting salient ethical and religious features of the life of Rodrigues. The latter half of the paper argues for an interpretation of the story according to which Rodrigues confronts a real (...) conflict between the obligation to love God with total devotion and the obligation to love one's neighbor as oneself. I conclude with the suggestion that the outcome of this conflict is not ultimately tragic because it serves providentially to move Rodrigues closer to Christ in suffering love. (shrink)
In his study on the Sermon on the Mount, Hans Dieter Betz remarks that the expression `the poor in spirit' (οί πτωχοί τω πνεύματι) (Mt. 5:3) is unique in the entire New Testament and does not appear at all in the early Christian literature or elsewhere in the Greek language. Considering the profound and veiled meaning of the first Matthean beatitude in the Sermon on the Mount, this article asks whether a patient analysis of the Christian virtue of (...) humility may reveal a way of life worthy of the blessings enjoyed by the `poor in spirit' in the Kingdom of Heaven. As such, it is argued throughout that the virtue of humility is the foundation of Christian discipleship, adducing arguments from the patristic exegesis of the first beatitude, the humility of the incarnate Son, and the Eastern Orthodox practice of spiritual direction. (shrink)
Decisions about withdrawing or continuing life-sustaining treatments are often not made in a reasoned manner: those who must make the decisions are often not sure what would constitute an upright decision and, therefore, doubt the correctness of the decisions they have made or are about to make. Making use especially of what Thomas Aquinas says about omissions (i.e., omitting to do something), this article attempts to establish some principles regarding when and why one might (and might not) morally withdraw (...)life-sustaining treatments, regarding the grounds on which a family might resist a doctor's decision to withdraw treatment (or a doctor the family's wishes) and regarding other related issues. (shrink)
While legal rights to make medical treatment decisions at the end of one's life have been recognized by the courts, particular religious traditions put axiological and metaphysical meat on the bare bones of legal rights. Mere legal rights do not capture the full reality, meaning and importance of death. End-of-life decisions reflect not only the meaning we find in dying, but also the meaning we have found in living. The Christian religions bring particular understandings of the vision (...) of life as a gift from God, human responsibility for stewardship of that life, the wholeness of the person, and the importance of the dying process in preparing spiritually for life beyond earthly life, to bear on end-of-life decisions. (shrink)
Although it is well known that Aquinas holds that infused versions of prudence and the other acquired virtues are bestowed on man along with habitual grace, there is no uniform and widely accepted account of how the infused and acquired virtues are related: some scholars interpret Aquinas to mean that the acquired virtues are ‘taken up’ into the infused virtues, while others credit him with the view that the infused and acquired virtues somehow coexist. This paper explores one common way (...) of maintaining that the Christian’s infused and acquired virtues ‘coexist’. I argue that while such an interpretation is able to accommodate some of Aquinas’s most fundamental claims about the infused and acquired virtues, it is also problematic in important respects. (shrink)
Emotions enter into the structure of Christian virtues in especially central ways because of special features of the Christian virtues-system. Four kinds of virtues can be distinguished-emotion virtues, behavioral virtues, virtues of will power, and attitudinal virtues. A detailed examination of an example of a Christian virtue from each of the last three classes discloses the structural dependency of these virtues on the Christian emotions.
Christians who affirm standard science and the biblical doctrine of creation often endorse theistic evolution as the best approach to human origins. But theistic evolution is ambiguous. Some versions are naturalistic (NTE)—God created humans entirely by evolution—and some are supernaturalistic (STE)—God supernaturally augmented evolution. This article claims that NTE is inadequate as an account of human origins because its theological naturalism and emergent physicalist ontology of the soul or person conflict with the Christian doctrine that God created humans for (...) everlasting life. Both the traditional Christian account of the afterlife and its modern Christian alternatives involve God's supernatural action and a separation (dualism) of person and body at death. STE can combine with several philosophical accounts of the body-soul relation to provide an adequate Christian account of original human nature. (shrink)
Once the prophetic office of Christ is understood as the apocalypse of God's act of reconciliation, employing the threefold office to interpret the atonement preserves the tenets of classical Christian dogma while addressing important issues raised by feminist and womanist theologians.
Resumo Pergunta-se pelo elo de ligação entre as concepções de corpo e de sexualidade presentes em diferentes momentos da história do cristianismo-catolicismo e o lugar ocupado pelo corpo e pela sexualidade na cultura mais ampla, em períodos históricos paralelos. Descobriu-se, então, alguns elos de ligação que, por sua vez, estão fortemente interligados entre si: vida, morte, medo, pecado. Para realizar a análise de tal fenômeno, utilizou-se o pensamento de autores que tinham apresentado os significados do corpo e da sexualidade como (...) construções culturais; buscou-se verificar, a partir da literatura disponível: como o medo da morte, que é um dado da natureza humana, se expressa nas concepções de corpo e de sexualidade apresentadas pela tradição cristã-católica; como se percebe esse medo hoje e como ele repercute nas concepções de corpo e de sexualidade na atualidade. A investigação apontou para a conclusão de que um dos possíveis motivos pelos quais o cristianismo-catolicismo investe tanta energia no controle da sexualidade e do corpo é que este representa um espaço de enfrentamento do medo da morte. Tal concepção encontra eco na cultura mais ampla, levando as pessoas a aderirem, ainda que parcialmente, por tanto tempo, o ideário cristão-católico de controle da sexualidade e do corpo. Palavras-chave: corpo; sexualidade; medo; catolicismo.Our questions refer to the connection among existing body and sexuality conceptions in different moments of Christian-catholic history as well as to the place occupied by those conceptions within a broader culture, establishing a parallel to historic periods. We face a few connected links that remain strongly interacted among themselves such as: life, death, fear and sin. In order to accomplish our analyses we rely on the thoughts of authors that have shown the meanings of body and sexuality as cultural constructions. Through the available literature we search to verify how fear of death, recognized as a characteristic of human nature, is expressed in the conceptions of body and sexuality shown by Christian-catholic tradition; also how this fear is perceived today and how it reflects upon the conceptions of body and sexuality nowadays. The research pointed to the conclusion that one of the possible reasons why Christianity-Catholicism invests so much energy in the control of sexuality and the body is that this represents an area of confrontation of fear of death. Such design is echoed in the wider culture, leading people to join, albeit partially, for so long, the ideal Christian-Catholic control of sexuality and the body. Key words: body; sexuality; fear; Catholicism. (shrink)
Christians have long understood grace both as a declaration of acceptance and as a power that transforms. This article illumines two theses while investigating the relationship between these understandings of grace in Luther, Calvin, and Barth's development of the law/gospel dialectic and the doctrines of justification and sanctification. First, though each theologian makes use of both understandings of grace, each also tends to emphasize one over the other. The unity and tension within and between these perspectives help to show that (...) while both pictures are of the greatest importance for each other and cannot be separated, they also exist in tension, as long as they are worked out in the lives of sinners. Second, the author claims that the positions of Luther and Barth are more alike than is generally recognized. (shrink)
While Orthodox Christianity does not find explicit statements about the morality of prolonging life in the usual doctrinal sources, the Scriptures and the Fathers of the Church, there are elements in Tradition which bear upon the issue. These include Orthodox spirituality's emphasis on the “wholeness” of the human person, its liturgical and synergistic view of human life, and its understanding of our moral ambiguity as fallen human beings in a fallen world. This last point, in particular, means that (...) we do not usually have a clear choice between right and wrong, and that we cannot always trust ourselves to know which choice is the right, or even the better one. Therefore, we must always approach decisions about death and dying with humility and in a spirit of repentance, aware of the imperfection of all we do and trusting in the mercy of God. (shrink)
So why is it so difficult to figure out how to take what is in the Bible and apply it to the tough issues we encounter in daily life?" "Claire Disbrey presents the ancient concept of virtue ethics as a way to work through this difficulty.