By Robin Gill

Robin Gill's Textbook of Christian Ethics has been a popular&...course book&...with scholars and teachers for over 20 years.&...Now in its 3rd version this&...classic&...textbook has been thoroughly revised to b

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Extra info for A Textbook of Christian Ethics, 3rd Edition

Example text

Nonetheless, their experience s her e wer e distinct . Aquinas , highl y cerebra l an d evidentl y rathe r corpulent, becam e a Dominica n a s a youn g ma n an d remaine d on e unti l hi s death . Augustine, havin g rejecte d Christianit y fo r s o long, becam e extremel y asceti c onl y afte r his conversion - althoug h there can be little doubt that he was always serious-minded and intense an d by no means th e sensual youth h e is sometimes though t t o hav e been. Even his celebrated amorous relationship was long-standing, apparently faithful, lovin g and i n accord wit h contemporary Roma n mora l practice .

There is considerable debate abou t ho w far these scholastic notions o f Aquinas can be applied t o Augustine , whose theologica l anthropolog y ofte n appear s somewhat ambivalent, bu t the y certainl y canno t b e attribute d t o Luther . Luthe r rejecte d th e notio n o f donum supernaturale an d tende d t o se e the Fal l rathe r a s a fal l fro m th e huma n t o th e sub-human. No t surprisingly , h e tende d t o mistrus t huma n independen t rationa l abilities, a capacit y t o kno w Go d apar t fro m revelation , an d eve n fre e wil l i n mora l decision-making - thre e huma n characteristic s tha t Aquina s woul d hav e considere d essential.

And non e of them ma y hav e ha d muc h i n commo n wit h th e eschatologicall y fragil e worl d o f Pau l himself. Th e task of distinguishing between thes e various socio-political factor s an d th e underlying Christia n principle s essentia l t o a n adequat e theologica l understandin g o f Church-State relationship s toda y i s on e o f th e mos t difficult , bu t important , facin g exponents o f Christian ethics . It is also a task that directly affects one' s understanding o f the problem s raise d i n th e Extract s in Section s 2-5 .

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