In Christian Ethics and Human Nature Terence Penelhum identifies the characteristics that set Christian ethics apart from secular ethics in a world that commonly thinks it has adopted Christian principles. He traces the Christian understanding of human nature to it's roots in basic Christian teaching, and compares that view with the views of other religions. Finally, Penelhum suggests that the Christian perspective of human nature should incorporate our place in the natural world as a whole. Throughout the book, Penelhum places Christian ethics in dialogue with science, psychology, and religious pluralism in a way that challenges the reader to rethink traditional ideas about Christian ethics and the nature of being human.
Originally delivered as the John Albert Hall Lectures in 1999, these essays examine the relationship between the secular view of human nature and Christian views of human nature. Having done so, the essays go on to explore the ways that the differences between the two views affect the ethics that inform both Christian activity and non-Christian activity. The author sets out first to identify characteristics that distinguish Christian ethics from secular ethics in a world that commonly sees itself as having adopted Christian ethics. Second, Penelhum analyzes the understanding of human nature that is implied by Christian ethics. Third, he identifies the ways that the Christian view of human nature responds to other religions' views of human nature. Finally, he identifies how the Christian view of human nature ought to be affected by the recognition that human nature is a part of Nature as a whole. Throughout the book, Penelhum places Christian ethics in dialogue with science, psychology, and religious pluralism in an engaging and highly productive way. Terence Penelhum is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Calgary. He is the author of God and Skepticism.
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