LIBERATION ETHICS: Sources, Models and Norms


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Christian ethics includes questions regarding how the rich should act toward the poor , how women are to be treated , and the morality of war. Christian ethicists, like other ethicists, approach ethics from different frameworks and perspectives. The approach of virtue ethics has also become popular in recent decades, largely due to the work of Alasdair MacIntyre and Stanley Hauerwas. The curriculum for seminary formation of Catholic priests commonly includes multiple, required courses in Catholic moral theology. Required courses in moral theology or ethics are comparatively less common in Evangelical seminaries.

In the Wesleyan tradition, Christian theology and thus Christian ethics are informed by four distinguishable sources known as the Wesleyan Quadrilateral. The four sources are scripture , tradition , reason, and Christian experience. According to D. Stephen Long , Jewish ethics and the life of Jesus figure prominently in Christian ethics, [4] but "The Bible is the universal and fundamental source of specifically Christian ethics", [5] Long also claims "Christian ethics finds its source in diverse means, but it primarily emerges from the biblical narrative and especially the call of Abraham and Sarah and subsequent creation of the Jewish people".

Liberation Ethics: Sources, Models, and Norms, by Thomas L. Schubeck

Childress and Macquarrie state that "Many Christian ethicists have claimed that Jesus Christ is the center of the biblical message in its entirety and the key to scripture". Christians today "do not feel compelled to observe all commandments " in the Torah, [8] but the Ten Commandments often figure prominently in Christian ethics. Much of Christian ethics derives from Biblical scripture and Christians have always considered the Bible profitable to teach, reprove, correct, and train in righteousness. The New Testament generally asserts that all morality flows from the Great Commandment , to love God with all one's heart, mind, strength, and soul, and to love one's neighbour as oneself.

In this, Jesus was reaffirming a teachings of Deut and Lev Christ united these commands together and proposed himself as a model of the love required in John , known also as The New Commandment. Paul is also the source of the phrase " Law of Christ ", though its meaning and the relationship of Paul of Tarsus and Judaism are still disputed. The Pauline writings are also the major source of the New Testament household code. Its decree, known as the Apostolic Decree , was held as generally binding for several centuries and is still observed today by the Greek Orthodox.

Christian ethics developed during Early Christianity as Christianity arose in the Holy Land and other early centers of Christianity while Christianity emerged from Second Temple Judaism. The Church Fathers had little occasion to treat moral questions from a purely philosophical standpoint and independently of divine revelation, but in the explanation of Christian doctrine their discussions naturally led to philosophical investigations.

They made use of philosophical and ethical principles laid down by their Greek philosopher forebears and the intersection of Greek and Jewish thought known as Hellenistic Judaism.


  1. XXL Sexgeschicten Kollektion (German Edition).
  2. Liberation Ethics: Sources, Models and Norms by Thomas L. Schubeck (Paperback, 1993);
  3. Walters Walk.

Under the Emperor Constantine I — , Christianity became a legal religion. With Christianity now in power, ethical concerns broadened and included discussions of the proper role of the state. Augustine in particular made use of the ethical principles of Greek philosophy and Hellenistic Judaism. He proceeded to develop thoroughly along philosophical lines and to establish firmly most of the truths of Christian morality.


  • Christian ethics.
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  • The eternal law lex aeterna , the original type and source of all temporal laws, the natural law , conscience, the ultimate end of man, the cardinal virtues , sin , marriage , etc. Augustine identified a movement in Scripture "toward the ' City of God ', from which Christian ethics emerges", as illustrated in chapters 11 and 12 of the book of Genesis.

    His synthesis is called Augustinianism alternatively, Augustinism. He presents hardly a single portion of ethics to us but what he does present is enriched with his keen philosophical commentaries. Later writers followed in his footsteps. A sharper line of separation between philosophy and theology, and in particular between ethics and moral theology, is first met within the works of the great Schoolmen of the Middle Ages, especially of Albertus Magnus — , Thomas Aquinas — , Bonaventure — , and Duns Scotus — Philosophy and, by means of it, theology reaped abundant fruit from the works of Aristotle, which had until then been a sealed treasure to Western civilization, and had first been elucidated by the detailed and profound commentaries of Albert the Great and Thomas Aquinas and pressed into the service of Christian philosophy.

    In his Summa Theologiae , Thomas locates ethics within the context of theology. For example, he discusses the ethics of buying and selling and concludes that although it may be legal according to human law to sell an object for more that it is worth, Divine law "leaves nothing unpunished that is contrary to virtue.

    Instruction on Christian Freedom and Liberation

    Thomas also argues that the human being by reflection on human nature's inclinations discovers a law, that is the natural law, which is "man's participation in the divine law. The meaning of the word love can be imprecise, so Thomas Aquinas defined "love" for the benefit of the Christian believer as "to will the good of another. After a couple centuries of stagnation, in the sixteenth century ethical questions are again made the subject of careful investigation.

    Since the sixteenth century, special chairs of ethics moral philosophy have been funded in many Catholic universities. Among topics they discussed was the ethics of action in case of doubt, leading to the doctrine of probabilism. With the rejection of the doctrine of papal infallibility and the Roman Magisterium as the absolute religious authority, each individual, at least in principle, became the arbiter in matters pertaining to faith and morals. Lutheran Philipp Melanchthon , in his " Elementa philosophiae moralis ", still clung to the Aristotelian philosophy strongly rejected by Martin Luther , as did Hugo Grotius in De jure belli et pacis.

    But Richard Cumberland and his follower Samuel Pufendorf assumed, with Descartes , that the ultimate ground for every distinction between good and evil lay in the free determination of God's will, an antinomian view which renders the philosophical treatment of ethics fundamentally impossible.

    In the 20th century some Christian philosophers, notably Dietrich Bonhoeffer , questioned the value of ethical reasoning in moral philosophy. In this school of thought, ethics, with its focus on distinguishing right from wrong, tends to produce behavior that is simply not wrong, whereas the Christian life should instead be marked by the highest form of right. Rather than ethical reasoning, they stress the importance of meditation on, and relationship with, God.

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    Other important Protestant Christian ethicists include H. In a popular movement of the s, many used the phrase " What would Jesus do? The seven Christian virtues are from two sets of virtues. The cardinal virtues are so called because they are regarded as the basic virtues required for a virtuous life.

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    The three theological virtues , are Faith , Hope , and Love or Charity. Christian views on abortion has a complex history as there is no explicit prohibition of abortion in either the Old Testament or New Testament books of the Christian Bible. While some writers say that early Christians held different beliefs at different times about abortion, [24] [25] [26] others say that, in spite of the silence of the New Testament on the issue, they condemned abortion at any point of pregnancy as a grave sin, [27] a condemnation that they maintained even when some of them did not qualify as homicide the elimination of a fetus not yet "formed" and animated by a human soul.

    The Roman Catholic Church and teaches that abortion that "human life must be respected and protected absolutely from the moment of conception. Since the twentieth century Protestant views on abortion have varied considerably, with Protestants to be found in both the "anti-abortion" and "abortion-rights" camps. African-American Protestants are much more strongly anti-abortion than white Protestants.

    Although scripture is mostly silent on abortion , various elements of scripture inform Christian ethical views on this topic, including Genesis ; Job ; Isaiah , , 5; and Jeremiah , among others. Current views on alcohol in Christianity can be divided into moderationism, abstentionism, and prohibitionism. Abstentionists and prohibitionists are sometimes lumped together as " teetotalers ", sharing some similar arguments.

    However, prohibitionists abstain from alcohol as a matter of law that is, they believe God requires abstinence in all ordinary circumstances , while abstentionists abstain as a matter of prudence that is, they believe total abstinence is the wisest and most loving way to live in the present circumstances. Some Christians, including Pentecostals , Baptists and Methodists , today believe one ought to abstain from alcohol.

    Fifty-two percent of Evangelical leaders around the world say drinking alcohol is incompatible with being a good Evangelical. Christian views on divorce are informed by verses in Matthew, Mark, Deuteronomy, and others [38] and political developments much later. In the synoptic Gospels , Jesus emphasized the permanence of marriage , but also its integrity.

    In the book of Matthew Jesus says "Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. Not having assets of their own, women needed to be protected from the risk of their husbands' putting them on the street at whim. In those times marriage was an economic matter. Restriction of divorce was based on the necessity of protecting the woman and her position in society, not necessarily in a religious context, but an economic context. The Catholic Church prohibits divorce, but permits annulment a finding that the marriage was never valid under a narrow set of circumstances.

    The Eastern Orthodox Church permits divorce and remarriage in church in certain circumstances. Modern Christian sexual morality rejects adultery , [43] extramarital sex , [44] prostitution , [45] and rape. In his early writings, Paul described marriage as a social obligation that has the potential of distracting from Christ. Sex, in turn, is not sinful but natural, and sex within marriage is both proper and necessary. While Jesus made reference to some that have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven, [50] there is no commandment in the New Testament that Jesus' disciples have to live in celibacy.

    During the first three or four centuries, no law was promulgated prohibiting clerical marriage. Celibacy was a matter of choice for bishops, priests, and deacons. Today, the Roman Catholic Church teachings on celibacy uphold it for monastics and priests. Protestantism has rejected the celibate unmarried life for preachers since the Reformation. Many evangelicals prefer the term "abstinence" to "celibacy.

    But some evangelicals, particularly older singles, desire a positive message of celibacy that moves beyond the "wait until marriage" message of abstinence campaigns. They seek a new understanding of celibacy that is focused on God rather than a future marriage or a lifelong vow to the Church. Within Christianity there are a variety of views on the issues of sexual orientation and homosexuality. The many Christian denominations vary in their position, from condemning homosexual acts as sinful , through being divided on the issue, to seeing it as morally acceptable.

    Even within a denomination, individuals and groups may hold different views. Further, not all members of a denomination necessarily support their church's views on homosexuality. In the Bible, procreative marriage is presented as "the norm" [54] and homosexuality is discussed in the New Testament, [55] but in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries whether or not the Bible condemns homosexuality, and whether the various passages apply today, have become contentious topics.

    LIBERATION ETHICS: Sources, Models and Norms LIBERATION ETHICS: Sources, Models and Norms
    LIBERATION ETHICS: Sources, Models and Norms LIBERATION ETHICS: Sources, Models and Norms
    LIBERATION ETHICS: Sources, Models and Norms LIBERATION ETHICS: Sources, Models and Norms
    LIBERATION ETHICS: Sources, Models and Norms LIBERATION ETHICS: Sources, Models and Norms
    LIBERATION ETHICS: Sources, Models and Norms LIBERATION ETHICS: Sources, Models and Norms
    LIBERATION ETHICS: Sources, Models and Norms LIBERATION ETHICS: Sources, Models and Norms
    LIBERATION ETHICS: Sources, Models and Norms LIBERATION ETHICS: Sources, Models and Norms
    LIBERATION ETHICS: Sources, Models and Norms LIBERATION ETHICS: Sources, Models and Norms

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