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Introducing Christian Ethics

ISBN: 978-1-4051-5277-8
398 pages
February 2010, Wiley-Blackwell
Introducing Christian Ethics (140515277X) cover image
This comprehensive textbook offers an unparalleled introduction to the study of Christian Ethics, mapping and exploring all the major ethical approaches, and offering thoughtful insights into the complex moral challenges facing people today.
  •  Redefines the field of Christian ethics along three strands: universal (ethics for anyone), subversive (ethics for the excluded), and ecclesial (ethics for the church)
  • Encompasses Christian ethics in its entirety, offering students a substantial overview by re-mapping the field and exploring the differences in various ethical approaches
  • Provides a successful balance between description, analysis, and critique 
  • Reveals how ecclesial ethics is respectful of, and indeed, often profoundly indebted to, other approaches to ethics
  • Structured so that it can be used alongside a companion volume, Christian Ethics: An Introductory Reader, which further illustrates and amplifies the diversity of material and arguments explored here
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Preface.

Part I: The Story of Christian Ethics.

1. The Story of God.

a. The People of God.

b. God in Person.

c. Following Jesus.

2. The Story of the Church.

a. Minority Status.

b. Christendom.

c. The Church in Western Modernity.

3. The Story of Ethics.

a. Philosophical Ethics.

b. Religious Ethics.

c. Professional Ethics.

4. The Story of Christian Ethics.

a. Foundations.

b. Revisions.

c. Legacies of Division

Part II: The Questions Christian Ethics Asks.

5. Universal Ethics.

a. Right Actions.

b. Right Outcomes.

c. Right Relationships.

6. Subversive Ethics.

a. Class.

b. Race.

c. Gender.

d. Age and Disability.

7. Ecclesial Ethics.

a. Persuasive Narratives.

b. A New Aristotelianism.

c. The Christological Turn.

Part III: The Questions Asked of Christian Ethics.

8. Good Order.

a. The State.

b. Justice and Punishment.

c. War.

9. Good Life.

a. Economics, Wealth, and Poverty.

b. Work, Business, and Management.

c. Media.

10. Good Relationships.

a. Friendship.

b. The Family, Marriage, and Sex.

c. Homosexuality

11. Good Beginnings and Endings.

a. Contraception, Assisted Conception, and Genetic Engineering.

b. Abortion.

c. Euthanasia and Suicide

12. Good Earth.

a. Animals.

b. Crops.

c. Ecology.

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Samuel Wells is Dean of the Chapel at Duke University and Research Professor of Christian Ethics at Duke Divinity School, Durham, North Carolina. He is editor of the accompanying volume, Christian Ethics: An Introductory Reader (2010) and The Blackwell Companion to Christian Ethics (with Stanley Hauerwas, 2004), and author of several books including God’s Companions: Reimagining Christian Ethics (Wiley-Blackwell, 2006).

Ben Quash is Professor of Christianity and the Arts at King’s College London. He is the author of Theology and the Drama of History (2005), and is former Reviews Editor of the international journal Studies in Christian Ethics.

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  • An indispensable introduction to the study of Christian ethics, offering thoughtful insights into the complex moral challenges facing people today
  • Redefines the field of Christian ethics along three strands: universal (ethics for anyone), subversive (ethics for the excluded), and ecclesial (ethics for the church)
  • Offers students substantially more than many texts, most of which focus solely on issues, approaches, or key figures in Christian ethics; this books covers all three, setting them in a framework that explores scripture, philosophy and church history
  • Provides a successful balance between description, analysis, and critique
  • Shows how ecclesial ethics is respectful of, and indeed, often profoundly indebted to, other approaches to ethics
  • Structured so that it can be used alongside a companion volume, Christian Ethics: An Introductory Reader, which further illustrates and amplifies the diversity of material and arguments explored here
See More
"Two Anglican theologians, Samuel Wells and Ben Quash, have written an excellent textbook introducing ecumenical Christian ethics ... This book is a gift for an instructor trying to write a syllabus, and a student who mastered it would be ready for further steps in academia." (Theology, 1 November 2011)
"The success of this publication and of the ecclesial ethics movement from which it comes is significant." (Regent's Reviews, 1 October 2010)

"Every decade or so, it pays to be introduced to Christian ethics all over again. A strong introduction can lead us to question what we’ve taken for granted, notice what we’ve failed to see and connect what has seemed disjointed. This book does all that and more. Wells and Quash present a stunningly clear account of Christian ethics; sources; an insightful typology of approaches – universal, subversive, and ecclesial; and an irenic display of diverse responses to politics and relationships. It’s not a book of answers, but reading it is an apprenticeship in how to ask the right questions and with whom to seek the answers." (Christian Century, May 2010)

"This book presents a thoughtful, trenchantly logical and interesting comparison of approaches that is both serious and compelling. It will be of particular interest for those looking to get the big picture of Christian ethics and an understanding of the rival viewpoints both inside and outside Christianity."
John Berkman, University of Toronto

"Wells and Quash’s typology of ethics (universal, subversive, and ecclesial) is a stroke of genius and a genuine contribution to the field"
Dan Bell, Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary

"Wells and Quash have put together a wonderfully comprehensive survey of Christian ethics while at the same time offering a distinctive and fresh perspective ... With the array of primary texts and judicious and very well informed commentary that the two volumes represent, they have succeeded in constructing an extremely valuable resource for teachers and students of Christian ethics."
Michael S. Northcott, University of Edinburgh(of Introducing Christian Ethics and Christian Ethics: An Introductory Reader)

"This book offers for the beginning studenta fine exposition of the main thinkers, comprehensive theories and currently pressing issues that shape this field."
Dr Susan F. Parsons, Margaret Beaufort Institute of Theology, Cambridge

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