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On Teaching and Learning Christian Ethics

An expansion of the discipline of ethics demonstrates that Aquinas's "infusing of virtue" makes better sense of the moral life than finding a method to guide action

While teaching ethics is universally applauded, how one goes about it is much more difficult and contested than is often recognized.

On Teaching and Learning Christian Ethics addresses what it means to teach and learn ethics through a thorough comparison of two ethicists, Henry Sidgwick and F. D. Maurice. Where Sidgwick understood ethics as developing a method for guiding voluntary action to what is right, Maurice maintained that ethics concerns life as a whole, and that requires placing it within a metaphysical and theological realm in which the good is much more definitive than right. This comparative history argues that Maurice's use of Thomas Aquinas's "infusing of virtue" makes better sense of the moral life of ordinary persons than the specialized, academic discipline Sidgwick bequeathed. Long expands the discipline of ethics through the central theme of his work: that moral life is a gift rather than an achievement. He provides a clear argument in favor of a more holistic approach to teaching ethics.

About the Author

D. Stephen Long is the Cary M. Maguire University Professor of Ethics at Southern Methodist University. He is the author of nineteen books, including Christian Ethics: A Very Short Introduction; The Divine Economy: Theology and the Market; and The Perfectly Simple Triune God: Aquinas and His Legacy. He is currently serving as the President of the Society of Christian Ethics.

Reviews

"Pick up this book and meet Stephen Long, first and foremost a well-trained and deeply engaged senior teacher, who wants to explain to you what he does for a living. He teaches ethics, something that he transparently acknowledges is a lot more difficult than you can imagine. He explains that difficulty as he brings you into conversation with the two camps of ethics, moral philosophy and moral theology. While you learn about both, he hopes that these two fields will learn about each other. An ambitious and significantly reconciling work."—James F. Keenan, SJ, Canisus Professor of Theology, Boston College
Georgetown University Press
Moral Traditions

9781647124137 : on-teaching-and-learning-christian-ethics-long
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March 1, 2024
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