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)
Foucault’s later writings continue his analyses of subject-formation but now with a view to foregrounding an active subject capable of self-transformation via ascetical and other self-imposed disciplinary practices. In my essay, I engage Foucault’s studies of ancient Greco-Roman and Christian technologies of the self with a two-fold purpose in view. First, I bring to the fore additional continuities either downplayed or overlooked by Foucault’s analysis between Greco-Roman transformative practices including self-writing, correspondence, and the hupomnēmata and Christian ascetical and epistolary practices. (...) Second, I add exegetical support to recent arguments denying Foucault’s advocacy for the death of the subject per se. In fact, my analyses show that Foucault’s ethico-aesthetic turn and its corresponding concern with self-transformation and self-(re)constitution via ascetical practices presupposes a subject with rational and volitional capacities. Without these capacities, the art of living Foucault describes is not possible. (shrink)
In this paper I evaluate Zamulinski’s recent attempt to rebut an argument to the conclusion that having any kind of religious faith violates a moral duty. I agree with Zamulinski that the argument is unsound, but I disagree on where it goes wrong. I criticize Zamulinski’s alternative construal of Christian faith as existential commitment to fundamental assumptions. It does not follow that we should accept the moral argument against religious faith, for at least two reasons. First, Zamulinski’s Cliffordian ethics of (...) belief is defective in several regards. Second, the truth of doxastic involuntarism and the possibility of doxastic excuse conditions can be used to demonstrate that the argument is unconvincing. (shrink)
Introduction to the study of African Christian ethics -- Foundations of contemporary African ethics -- Foundations of Western ethics -- Foundations of Christian ethics -- Foundations of African Christian ethics -- Applying African Christian ethics -- 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)
This book describes the shape of a Christian ethic that arises from a conversation between contemporary accounts of natural law theory, and virtue ethics. The ethic that emerges from this conversation seeks to resolve the tensions in Christian ethics between creation and eschatology, narrative and natural law, and objectivity and relativity. Black moves from this analytic foundation to conclude that worship lies at the heart of a theologically grounded ethic whose central concern is the flourishing of the whole human person (...) in community with both one another and God. (shrink)
A number of recent historians claim to have defeated what they call the ‘conflict thesis’, the idea that there exists some inevitable conflict between Darwinism and Christianity. This is often thought to be part of a broader ‘warfare thesis’, which posits an inevitable conflict between science and religion. But, all they have defeated is one, relatively uninteresting form of this thesis. There remain other forms of the conflict theses that remain entirely plausible, even in light of the historical record.
This collection is an exploration of the historical course and nature of early Christian theological traditions. The contributors reconsider classic themes and texts in the light of the existing traditions of interpretation. They offer critiques of early Christian ideas and texts and they consider the structure and origins of standard modern readings of these ideas and texts. Christian Origins provides a fresh and often ground-breaking analysis of the origins of Christian thought and offers a comprehensive and synchronic overview of the (...) development and influence of that thought. (shrink)
In Intimations of Christianity Among the Ancient Greeks , Simone Weil discusses precursors to Christian religious ideas which can be found in ancient Greek mythology, literature and philosophy. She looks at evidence of "Christian" feelings in Greek literature, notably in Electra, Orestes, and Antigone , and in the Iliad , going on to examine God in Plato, and divine love in creation, as seen by the ancient Greeks.
Overcoming Onto-theology is a stunning collection of essays by Merold Westphal, one of America’s leading continental philosophers of religion, in which Westphal carefully explores the nature and the structure of a postmodern Christian philosophy. Written with characteristic clarity and charm, Westphal offers masterful studies of Heidegger’s early lectures on Paul and Augustine, the idea of hermeneutics, Schleiermacher, Hegel, Derrida, and Nietzsche, all in the service of building his argument that postmodern thinking offers an indispensable tool for rethinking Christian faith. A (...) must read for every student and professor of continental philosophy and the philosophy of religion, Overcoming Onto-theology is an invaluable collection that brings together in one place fourteen provocative and lucid essays by one of the most important thinkers working in American philosophy today. (shrink)
The article surveys few of the most important philosophical contributions by Christians in the 21st century. Those surveyed include Francis Schaeffer, Alvin Plantinga, Norman Geisler, and Ravi Zacharias.
This is a study of how self-transformation may occur through the practice of reframing one's personal experience in terms of a canonical language: that is, a system of symbols that purports to explain something about human beings and the universe they live in. The Christian conversion narrative is used as the primary example here, but the approach used in this book also illuminates other practices such as psychotherapy in which people deal with emotional conflict through language.
What does it take to follow and not merely admire Jesus? How do religious affections reshape the practice of Christian values like love, peace, justice, and compassion? How can they possess both universal truth and local meaning? What role can they play in public life? In Fidelity of Heart Gilman answers these questions, while showing, in an innovative and provocative approach, how Christians can practice these values in ways continuous with the life of Jesus.
In late antiquity Plato's philosophy became a battlefield between the competing discourses and rival intellectual paradigms represented by Hellenism and Christianity. Focusing on Theodoret of Cyrrhus' Graecarum Affectionum Curatio, Dr Siniossoglou examines the philosophical, rhetorical and political dimensions of the Neoplatonic-Christian conflict of interpretations over Plato. He shows that the apologist's aim was to procure a radical shift in Hellenic intellectual identity through the appropriation of Platonic concepts and terminology. The apologetical strategies of appropriation are confronted with the perspective of (...) the intended audience, the Hellenic elite, by means of comparative discourse analysis. The outcome is a reconstruction of a vital trial of strength between Neoplatonic hermeneutics and the Christian rhetorical mode of rewriting Plato. The volume concludes that the fundamental Hellenic-Christian opposition outweighed any linguistic merging that might have occurred between the two systems, and that this opposition outlived the dominance of Christianity in late antique society and politics. (shrink)
What does it mean to forgive? The answer is widely assumed to be self-evident but critical analysis quickly reveals the complexities of the subject. Forgiveness has traditionally been the preserve of Christian theology, though in the last half century - and at an accelerating pace - psychologists, lawyers, politicians and moral philosophers have all been making an important contribution to questions about and our understanding of the subject. Anthony Bash offers a vigorous restatement of the Christian view of forgiveness in (...) critical dialogue with those both within and without the Christian tradition. Forgiveness is a much more complicated subject than many theologians recognize. Bash explores the relevance of the theoretical discussion of the topic to recent events such as the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa, post-Holocaust trials, the aftermath of 9/11 and July 7 and various high-profile criminal cases. (shrink)
Kieran Cronin aims in this book to show how a Christian perspective may have something fruitful to contribute to the language of rights. In so doing, he examines some of the complexities involved in using this language, drawing from literature in moral philosophy and jurisprudence in the process. The novelty of his approach lies in the attempt to distinguish two complimentary aspects within metaethics, aspects which the author calls the 'discursive' and the 'imaginative'. Cronin regards the use of models (which (...) are extended metaphors) as providing a bridge between these two aspects, and the imaginative metaethics which emerges is seen to be rich in possibilities for both secular and Christian understandings of rights-talk. (shrink)
Christians and Marxists have co-operated in various forms of political work in recent decades, and, after earlier years of antagonism, thinkers on both sides have come to take the other seriously. The aim of this book is to get Christianity and Marxism to meet on terrain on which they might seem most opposed: their philosophical positions; and to do so without watering either down, but taking then full strength.
How can Christian ethics 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)
The Common Good and Christian Ethics 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)
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)
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 Christian ethics and community, the book also seeks to acknowledge common moral ground held by those within and without the church. (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 Christian ethics. (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: Christian ethics and blameworthy material cooperation; References; Index. (shrink)
A part of the “return to religion” now evident in European philosophy, this book represents the culmination of the career of a leading phenomenological thinker whose earlier works trace a trajectory from Marx through a genealogy of psychoanalysis that interprets Descartes’s “I think, I am” as “I feel myself thinking, I am.” In this book, Henry does not ask whether Christianity is “true” or “false.” Rather, what is in question here is what Christianity considers as truth, what kind of truth (...) it offers to people, what it endeavors to communicate to them, not as a theoretical and indifferent truth, but as the essential truth that by some mysterious affinity is suitable for them, to the point that it alone is capable of ensuring them salvation. In the process, Henry inevitably argues against the concept of truth that dominates modern thought and determines, in its multiple implications, the world in which we live. Henry argues that Christ undoes “the truth of the world,” that He is an access to the infinity of self-love, to a radical subjectivity that admits no outside, to the immanence of affective life found beyond the despair fatally attached to all objectifying thought. The Kingdom of God accomplishes itself in the here and now through the love of Christ in what Henry calls “the auto-affection of Life.” In this condition, he argues, all problems of lack, ambivalence, and false projection are resolved. (shrink)
Introduction: Christian faith and technological artifacts -- Pt. I. The attempt to claim Christ's dominion. Martin Heidegger on technology as a form of life -- George Grant and the technological ideal -- Michel Foucault and the habits of technology -- Pt. II. Seeking Christ's concrete claim. Advent and the renewal of the senses -- Technology for good and evil -- Political reconciliation in the community of worship -- Worship, Sabbath, and work -- Being reconciled with creation's material form -- Conclusion: (...) An ethos of dwelling in the house of the Lord. (shrink)
Separated from its anchorage in religion, ethics has followed the social sciences in seeing human beings as fundamentally characterized by self-interest, so that altruism is either naively idealistic or arrogantly self-sufficient. Colin Grant contends that, as a modern secular concept, altruism is a parody on the self-giving love of Christianity, so that its dismissal represents a social levelling that loses the depths that theology makes intelligible and religion makes possible. The Christian affirmation is that God is characterized by (...) self-giving love (agape), then expected of Christians. Lacking this theological background, the focus on self-interest in sociobiology and economics, and on human realism in the political focus of John Rawls or the feminist sociability of Carol Gilligan, finds altruism naive or a dangerous distraction from real possibilities of mutual support. This book argues that to dispense with altruism is to dispense with God and with the divine transformation of human possibilities. (shrink)
What is it for there to be a God, and what reason is there for supposing him to conform to the claims of Christian doctrine? In this pivotal volume of his tetralogy, Richard Swinburne builds a rigorous metaphysical system for describing the world, and applies this to assessing the worth of the Christian tenets of the Trinity and the Incarnation. Part I is dedicated to analyzing the categories needed to address accounts of the divine nature--substance, cause, time, and necessity. Part (...) II begins by setting out, in terms of these categories, the fundamental doctrine of Western religions--that there is a God. After pointing out some of the different ways in which this doctrine can be developed, Swinburne spells out the simplest possible account of divine nature. He then goes on to clarify the implications of this account for the specifically Christian doctrines of the Trinity (that God is "three persons in one substance") and of the Incarnation (that God became incarnate in Jesus Christ). Swinburne finds that there are good reasons to believe the Christian additions to the core Western idea of God. The Christian God builds upon Swinburne's acclaimed previous work to form a self-contained text which will no doubt become a classic in the philosophy of religion. (shrink)
This stimulating and wide-ranging book mounts a profound enquiry into some of the most pressing questions of our age, by examining the relationship between biological science and Christianity. The history of biological discovery is explored from the point of view of a leading philosopher and ethicist. What effect should modern biological theory and practice have on Christian understanding of ethics? How much of that theory and practice should Christians endorse? Can Christians, for example, agree that biological changes are not governed (...) by transcendent values, or that there are no clear or essential boundaries between species? To what extent can 'Nature' set our standards? Professor Clark takes a reasoned look at biological theory since Darwin and argues that an orthodox Christian philosophy is better able to accommodate the truth of such theory than is the sort of progressive, meliorist interpretation of Christian doctrine which is usually offered as the properly 'modern' option. (shrink)
A RECENT BIOGRAPHY of Marcus Loane, evangelical Anglican Archbishop of Sydney in the 1960s, records that as a student at Moore Theological College he would read during lectures to avoid having to listen to the liberal Principal. When you are committed to a closed system of thought, you can't be too careful when it comes to letting ideas in from the outside. But what about the ideas already inside? How does the Sydney Anglican interpretation of Christianity compare to what Jesus (...) said? (shrink)
Karl Christian Friedrich Krause war ein bemerkenswerter Denker des Deutschen Idealismus. Seine Schriften können ohne Zweifel mit denen Hegels, Schellings und Fichtes konkurrieren. Gerade im Bereich der theoretischen Philosophie bietet das Krausesche Œuvre eine Fundgrube an Einsichten und Argumenten, die der heutigen, oftmals betont postmodernen oder atheistischen Philosophie eine dringend benötigte Kontrastfolie sein können. Sinn und Zweck der Arbeit ist es, den Panentheismus Krauses zeitgemäß darzustellen und Brückenschläge zur heutigen religionsphilosophischen Debatte aufzuzeigen.
In the conventional analysis of human behaviour, power and ethics are frequently considered contrary principles, in that power enforces, while ethics elicits a free response. But, as James Mackey forcefully shows, a more adventurous philosophical study of human morality escapes the sense of contraries, and sets us on a quest for the kind of power that liberates human creativity. It then becomes possible to establish the framework for a critical assessment of the kind of power that ought to be operative (...) in the major structures of human society, civil or ecclesiastical, state governments and church hierarchies. Mackey analyses the religious question which then quite naturally emerges, as to whether this Eros-type power so manifest in human society originates from beyond the more empirical structures of churches, states, and 'nature'; and the effort to detect the specifically Christian characterisation of an allegedly ultimate power working in us for final well-being finds its natural context. (shrink)
In so-called Christian countries an increasing number of people openly reject Christian morality. It is a commonplace that they do this for values that can be shown to be Christian. How did this state of affairs come about? An examination of the beginning of Christian ethical thought shows that, within great personal variety, certain patterns or concepts remain constant. Righteousness, discipleship, faith and love are traced in this book from the New Testament through to Augustine. There is a necessary tension (...) between high ideals and practical performance, or between perfection and contingency. When this tension is lost, Christian ethics can easily go wrong. The amoral perfectionism of second-century Gnostics is remarkably similar to the mysticism of communal movements; the opposite threat of legalism has always been present in conservative forms of Christianity. Dr Osborn is concerned to explain rather than to defend, to look at the way conclusions are reached, and to show the rich diversity of early Christian thought. Successive chapters deal with the New Testament, Clement of Alexandria, Basil the Great, John Chrysostom and Augustine. (shrink)
Introduction: the problem of estrangement from Scripture in Christian ethics -- 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 Christian ethics in Scripture. (shrink)
Justice and Christian Ethics 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)
Many studies written about the Jewish-Christian relationship are primarily historical overviews that focus on the Jewish background of Christianity, the separation of Christianity from Judiasm, or the medieval disputations between the two faiths. This book is one of the first studies to examine the relationship from a philosophical and theological viewpoint. Carefully drawing on Jewish classical sources, Novak argues that there is actual justification for the new relationship between Judaism and Christianity from within Jewish religious tradition. He demonstrates that this (...) new relationship is possible between religiously committed Jews and Christians without the two major impediments to dialogue: triumphalism and relativism. One of the very few books on this topic written by a Jewish theologian who speaks specifically to modern Christian concerns, it will provide the groundwork for a more serious development of Jewish-Christian dialogue in our day. (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)
Teachers and Texts in the Ancient World presents a comprehensive and accessible survey of religious and philosophical teaching and classroom practices in the ancient world. Snyder synthesizes a wide range of ancient evidence and modern scholarship to address such questions as how the literary practices of Jews and Christians compared to the literary practices of the philosophical schools and whether Christians were particularly noteworthy for their attachment to scripture.
The story of God -- The story of the church -- The story of ethics -- The story of Christian ethics -- Universal ethics -- Subversive ethics -- Ecclesial ethics -- Good order -- Good life -- Good relationships -- Good beginnings and endings -- Good earth.
In this paper I raise awareness of a crucial blind spot in scholarship on the Christian-Jewish dialogue. The main argument of the paper is that a closer examination of the dialogue form is necessary in order to assess the tenability of Christian-Jewish dialogue. Despite the widespread talk and intensive scholarship about the Jewish-Christian dialogue two things remain unclear: (a) what concept of dialogue is presupposed; (b) what makes the dialogue form appropriate for the Christian-Jewish encounter. This paper discusses the possibility (...) that the use of the dialogue form is a means of theological imperialism. I both rule out this possibility and propose an argument to justify the tenability of Jewish-Christian dialogue that I defend against objections which follow from Richard Swinburne’s Christian philosophy of revelation. (shrink)
This book addresses the question of the communication of Christian ethics 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)
Following the same formula as other Cambridge Companions, this book is written by leading international experts in Christian ethics 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 Christian ethics 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 Christian ethics 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)
Christianity began as a little-known Jewish sect, but rose within 300 years to dominate the civilised world. It owed its rise in part to inspired moral leadership, but also to its success in assimilating, criticising and developing the philosophies of the day, which offered rationally approved life-styles and moral directives. Without abandoning their allegiance to their founder and to Holy Scripture, Christians could therefore present their faith as a 'new philosophy'. This book, which is written for non-specialist readers, provides a (...) concise conspectus of the emergence of philosophy among the Greeks; an account of its continuance in early Christian times, and its influence on early Christian thought, especially in formulating the doctrines of the Trinity and the Incarnation; and finally a brief critical assessment of the philosophy of St Augustine - arguably the greatest philosopher of the first millennium. (shrink)
'Christian nationalism' refers to the set of ideas in which belief in the development and superiority of one's national group is combined with, or underwritten by, Christian theology and practice. A critique of Christian nationalism is implicit throughout the thought of Søren Kierkegaard, an analysis inseparable from his wider aim of reintroducing Christianity into Christendom. -/- Stephen Backhouse examines the nationalist theologies of Kierkegaard's contemporaries H.L. Martensen and N.F.S. Grundtvig, to show how Kierkegaard's thought developed in response to the writings (...) of these important cultural leaders of the day. Kierkegaard's response formed the backbone of his own philosophical and theological project, namely his attempt to form authentic Christian individuals through the use of 'the moment', 'the leap' and 'contemporaneity'. -/- This study brings Kierkegaard's critique of Christian nationalism into conversation with current political science theories of religious nationalism and reflects on the implications of Kierkegaard's radical approach. While the critique is unsettling to politicians and church leaders alike, nevertheless there is much to commend it to the reality of modern religious and social life. As a theological thinker keenly aware of the unique problems posed by Christendom, Kierkegaard's critique is timely for any Christian culture that is tempted to confuse its faith with patriotism or national affiliation. (shrink)
Christian morality has been of enormous significance in world history and still underpins moral notions today. In this groundbreaking volume, J. Ian H. McDonald explores the notion of Christian ethics and discusses its roots, its significance in developing moral standards throughout the world and its stability in the modern world. The Crucible of Christian Morality begins with a study of the ethos of early Christian communities, examining the relation of cosmic vision to moral attitude and authority, noting also the types (...) of moral discourse used, and tracing the roots of these developments to the Old Testament and to the ministry of Jesus. The second half of the book concentrates on selected moral themes, concerned with persons, with communities in societies and with virtue or moral excellence, situating them in the context of ancient cultural developments. (shrink)
The question of realism - that is, whether God exists independently of human beings - is central to much contemporary theology and church life. It is also an important topic in the philosophy of religion. This book discusses the relationship between realism and Christian faith in a thorough and systematic way and uses the resources of both philosophy and theology to argue for a Christocentric narrative realism. Many previous defences of realism have attempted to model Christian belief on scientific theory (...) but Moore argues that this comparison is misleading and inadequate on both theological and philosophical grounds. Using Speech Act theory and the work of non-realists and Wittgensteinians, he offers a new account of the meaningfulness of Christian language; and uses this to develop a regulative conception of realism according to which God's independent reality is shown principally in Christ and, on this basis, through Christian practices and the lives of Christians. (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 Christian ethics: 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)
This work focuses on Latin Judaica and Biblical interpretation with a primary emphasis on texts that were found in the library of Archbishop Narcissus Marsh of Dublin. This remarkable collection of Latin Judaica, Polyglot Bibles, and other works sheds light on the way in which the Protestant Reformation dealt both with Jews, and the Bible, the Jewish Kabbalah and religious toleration or intolerance. The articles contained herein will be of especial interest to historians of religion and philosophy, and those (...) dealing with Jewish-Christian relations and the manner in which Biblical interpretation was changed as a result of seventeenth-century influences. The articles also weave a new approach to the broad history of religious toleration. Philosophers, political thinkers, religious clerics, and budding anthropologists look at Judaism, Christianity, Kabbalah, and the Bible under a new and vastly more modern lens. (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)
Through an exchange that is both intimate and enlightening, Vattimo and Girard share their unparalleled insight into the relationships among religion, modernity, and the role of Christianity, especially as it exists in our multicultural ...
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 Christian life.
Although modern societies have come to recognize diversity in human sexuality as simply part of nature, many Christian communities and thinkers still have considerable difficulties with related developments in politics, legislation, and science. In fact, homosexuality is a recurrent topic in the transdisciplinary encounter between Christianity and the sciences, an encounter that is otherwise rather “asexual.” I propose that the recent emergence of “Christianity and Science” as an academic field in its own right is an important part of the larger (...) context of the difficulties related to attempts to reconcile Christianity and a recognition of diversity in human sexuality as a norm. Through a critical discussion of arguments which are upheld most disturbingly on a global scale by the Roman Catholic Church and supported with much sophistry by important stakeholders of an influential stream in analytic philosophy of religion, this paper aims to contextualize and defend the legitimacy of the question why God would create homosexuals as such if it is true that every homosexual act is prohibited by God. While recently advanced nonheterosexist scientific models of sexuality in nature inform the discussion, I reject the simplistic view that religions suppress and the sciences liberate in matters sexual. (shrink)
Activity and Participation in Late Antique and Early Christian Thought is an investigation into two basic concepts of ancient pagan and Christian thought. The study examines how activity in Christian thought is connected with the topic of participation: for the lower levels of being to participate in the higher means to receive the divine activity into their own ontological constitution. Torstein Theodor Tollefsen sets a detailed discussion of the work of church fathers Gregory of Nyssa, Dionysius the Areopagite, Maximus the (...) Confessor, and Gregory Palamas in the context of earlier trends in Aristotelian and Neoplatonist philosophy. His concern is to highlight how the Church Fathers thought energeia (i.e. activity or energy) is manifested as divine activity in the eternal constitution of the Trinity, the creation of the cosmos, the Incarnation of Christ, and in salvation understood as deification. (shrink)
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 Christian ethics. It argues that Christian ethics 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)
Over 700,000 copies of the original hardcover and paperback editions of this stunningly popular book have been sold. Karen Armstrong's superbly readable exploration of how the three dominant monotheistic religions of the world—Judaism, Christianity, and Islam—have shaped and altered the conception of God is a tour de force. One of Britain's foremost commentators on religious affairs, Armstrong traces the history of how men and women have perceived and experienced God, from the time of Abraham to the present. From classical philosophy (...) and medieval mysticism to the Reformation, the Enlightenment, and the modern age of skepticism, Armstrong performs the near miracle of distilling the intellectual history of monotheism into one compelling volume. (shrink)
Psychology and religious belief.--The self and "the unconscious."--Sin and its remedy in the light of psychology.--The question of freedom.--Freedom, grace and providence.--Compromise, tension and personality.--Birth control and Christian ethics.--Original sin and baptism.--Sacraments.--Authority.--The reunion of Christendom.--Corruptio optimi pessima.
Through the ages, Christians have almost automatically been Mind-Body dualists. The Bible portrays us as spiritual beings, and one obvious way to be a spiritual being is to be (or to have) an immaterial soul. Since it is also evident that we have bodies, Christians naturally have thought of themselves as composite beings, made of two substances—a material body and a nonmaterial soul. Despite the historical weight of this position, I do not think that it is required either by Scripture (...) or by Christian doctrine as it has developed through the ages. So, I want to argue that there is a Christian alternative to Mind-Body Dualism, and that the reasons in favor of the alternative outweigh those in favor of Mind-Body Dualism. (shrink)
Inspired by Max Weber's thesis on the Protestant ethic, this volume sets out to understand the role and influence of Christianity on overseas Chinese entrepreneurs working in China during its transition from a centrally-planned economy ...
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. Christian ethics 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 Christian Ethics 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)
Libertarians such as J.R. Lucas have abandoned traditional Christian doctrines because they cannot reconcile them with the freedom of the will. Traditional Christian thinkers such as Augustine have repudiated libertarianism because they cannot reconcile it with the dogmas of the Faith. In Free Will and the Christian Faith, W.S. Anglin demonstrates that free will and traditional Christianity are ineed compatible. He examines, and solves, puzzles about the relationships between free will and omnipotence, omniscience, and God's goodness, using the idea of (...) free will to answer the question of why God allows evil, and presenting arguments that link free will to eternal life and to the nature of revelation. Topics covered include the meaning of life, the soul and Lesbegue measure, and strategies for discerning the voice of God. (shrink)
The philosophy of religion and theology are related to the culture in which they have developed. These disciplines provide a source of values and vision to the cultures of which they are part, while at the same time they are delimited and defined by their cultures. This book compares the ideas of two contemporary philosophers, John Hick and Seyyed Hossein Nasr, on the issues of religion, religions, the concept of the ultimate reality, and the notion of sacred knowledge. On a (...) broader level, it compares two world-views: the one formed by Western Christian culture, which is religious in intention but secular in essence; the other Islamic, formed through the assimilation of traditional wisdom, which is turned against the norms of secular culture and is thus religious both in intention and essence. (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 Christian ethics 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)
Halakhah and ethics in the Jesus tradition -- Matthew's divorce texts in the light of pre-rabbinic Jewish law -- Let the dead bury their dead : Jesus and the law revisited -- James, Israel, and Antioch -- Natural law in Second Temple Judaism -- Natural law in the New Testament? -- The Noachide commandments and New Testament ethics -- The beginning of Christian public ethics : from Luke to Aristides and Diognetus -- Jewish and Christian public ethics in the early (...) Roman Empire. (shrink)
Dietrich Bonhoeffer's thinking about ethics and Christianity is a fascinating attempt to combine different, and often conflicting, strands in the Christian intellectual tradition. In this article, I outline his thinking, analyse the advantages and disadvantages in his approach, and relate it to developments in contemporary philosophy. His critique of an excessive stress upon principles and abstraction in opposition to a concern for concrete circumstances is, I argue, best seen as a necessary critique of what I call moralism rather than morality. (...) It is also related to recent philosophical theories of particularism and the debates about ‘emergency ethics’ in current philosophy. On the negative side, Bonhoeffer has a tendency to treat non-Christian ethics as necessarily relativist and at times is excessively influenced by the elements in Christian theological tradition that are hostile to the natural and to non-Christian philosophy. In addition, his invocation of ‘the Divine mandates’ seems to have undesirable implications for some genuine values in liberal democratic theory and practice. (shrink)
Trust in the doctor-patient relationship is an indispensable structural element for the medical profession. The discourse concerning trust and its importance in the healthcare context, although quite old, elicits increasingly more interest in research, especially for empirical approaches. The importance of trust in the doctor and in the medical profession can be demonstrated by starting from the Christian meaning of illness and medicine ; generally, the patristic sources see medicine and physicians as God’s gifts. T he perception of Christian physicians (...) as dedicated, unselﬁsh and compassionate preservers or restorers of health, always committed to the good of their patients is well known. The model of the Christian physician is a Hippocratic model, of one who seeks the sick so that he may bring relief to them and strengthen them. When illness occurs, Christianity affirms an ethical duty to struggle against sickness, which if unaddressed can lead to death. The moral requirement to care for the health of the body indicates it is appropriate to use healing methods that will enhance health and maintain life. The aim of this paper is to explore the dimensions of the concept of trust in the doctor-patient relationship, by starting from the Christian meaning of illness and of the role of the doctor. The paper presents a number of essential theoretical elements related to trust, as presented in the literature dealing with the doctor-patient relationship: the meaning of trust, its dimensions, its stages of development, its impact, its sources, the patient’s perspectives on trust, the importance of trust for healthcare systems. (shrink)
Introduction: to the student -- Ethics and Christian ethics -- An overview of ethics -- Definitions -- Subject matter -- Assumptions -- Cautions -- Alternatives to Christian ethics -- Religious systems -- Judaism -- Islam -- Hinduism -- Buddhism -- Humanism -- Objectivism -- Behaviorism -- Alternatives within Christian ethics -- 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 -- Christian ethics 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)
A people divided -- Impact of science -- The physical world and its life forms -- Human beginnings -- Our animal instincts -- An inward look -- Emergence of civilization -- Flaws in civilizations -- Brutal despair in ancient Rome -- Persistent cruelty -- The search for ethics in antiquity -- Ecclesiastical search for ethics in Christianity -- The Gospel's ethical impact -- Ethical impact in multi-invaded Britannia -- Ethical impact in seeking freedom -- Rather humanitarian Britain -- Rather humanitarian (...) United States -- The goal of the Gospel -- Concluding summation. (shrink)
The function and method of philosophy.--The nature of religious experience.--Religion and philosophy: naturalism.--Religion and philosophical idealism.--The structure of the universe and the objectivity of values.--The christian conception of god.--The doctrine of the person of christ.--The doctrine of the trinity.
Seeing and hearing God in the Old Testament -- Seeing and hearing God in the New Testament -- Word and image in classical Greek philosophy -- Philosophers and sophists of the early Roman era -- Image, text and incarnation in the second century -- Image, text and incarnation in the third century -- Neoplatonism and the arts -- Image, text and incarnation in the fourth century -- Myth and text in proclus -- Christianity of Christian Platonism.
Machine generated contents note: Introduction; 1. Inclusion and identity; 2. Contesting competence: the ideal of self-determination; 3. Expertise and authority in the early church; 4. Defining the circle of sophists: Philostratus and the construction of the Second Sophistic; 5. Becoming orthodox: heresiology as self-fashioning; 6. Successions and self-definition; 7. 'From such mothers and fathers': succession narratives in early Christian discourse.
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)
Panentheism is an often-discussed alternative to Classical theism, and almost any discussion of panentheism starts by way of acknowledging Karl Christian Friedrich Krause (1781-1832) as the person who coined the term. However, apart from this tribute, Krause’s own panentheism is almost completely unknown. In what follows, I firstly present a brief overview of Krause’s life and correct some misconceptions of his work before I turn to the core ideas of Krause’s own panentheistic system of philosophy. In brief, Krause elaborates a (...) scientific holism that is anchored in intellectual intuition of the Absolute as the one principle of being and recognition. The task of philosophical speculation consequently is twofold: the analytic-ascending part of philosophy proceeds by way of transcendental reflection and according to Krause enables us to obtain intellectual intuition. The synthetic-descending part of philosophy starts by way of showing that science as a whole is an explication of the original union of the Absolute as apprehended in intellectual intuition. Once this is achieved, Krause argues that the emerging philosophy of science is most adequately referred to as ‘panentheism’ since everything is what it is ‘in and through’ the Absolute while the Absolute itself is not reducible to anything in particular. I end by showing how to relate Krause’s panentheism to recent philosophical discussion. (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 Christian ethics. (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 Christian ethics.--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)