Sources, Methods, and Social Values in Theological Ethics

John Renard

in Islam and Christianity

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780520255081
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948334 | DOI:
Sources, Methods, and Social Values in Theological Ethics

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The sacred texts the Bible and the Qur'ān are not treatises of theological ethics, or even manuals of behavior, but Christians and Muslims have long mined them for their ethical ore. This chapter discusses sources, methods, and social values in theological ethics. For Christians and Muslims alike, the bedrock of religiously acceptable behavior is to be found in sacred scripture. Theological ethics, also known to some Christians as moral theology, argues that merely understanding instinctively or rationally that one ought to do or avoid actions perceived to be inherently good or evil is inadequate. Theological ethics needs to be distinguished clearly from other varieties of ethical thinking. Both Christian and Islamic ethical traditions enshrine a host of important personal and social ethical concerns. Among the larger-scale issues, both traditions have attended in varying degrees to matters of race, ethnicity, and gender, as well as the environment and stewardship of creation, social justice, economic equity, slavery, human rights, and war and peace.

Keywords: theological ethics; sacred texts; Christians; Muslims; social ethics

Chapter.  10208 words. 

Subjects: East Asian Religions

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