Understanding Religious Ethics / Edition 1

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Overview

This accessible introduction to religious ethics focuses on the major forms of ethical reasoning encompassing the three "Abrahamic" religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It examines the ethical dimensions of these faiths, both individually and comparatively, by exploring how and what they think about a series of important issues such as friendship, marriage, homosexuality, lying, forgiveness and its limits, the death penalty, the environment, warfare, and the meaning of work, career, and vocation. In doing all of this, the book offers insight both into these particular traditions and into the common moral challenges confronting all people today.

The book pays serious attention not just to what each faith has to say about an issue, but also to how each faith explains and defends its moral viewpoints. Equal attention is given to each faith's deliberation and judgments on specific issues, the styles and models of reasoning by which those judgments are reached, and the ways in which those judgments reveal some of these traditions' deepest convictions about God, the cosmos, and humanity.

Timely and insightful, Understanding Religious Ethics offers a powerful model of how the traditions can be understood and engaged charitably and critically - the sort of understanding and engagement that will be increasingly necessary in the twenty-first century.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher

"This splendid volume—from a distinguished scholar and teacher—is the best available general introduction to comparative religious ethics. Unlike many arid textbooks, it offers a lively examination of the moral life by initiating readers into the diverse beliefs and practices that animate Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Adherents of these traditions and their critics will find much wisdom in these pages. The serious treatment of classical questions and contemporary problems is a needed antidote to many lazy discussions of controversial issues."
Eric Gregory, Princeton University

"Comparative, comprehensive and highly readable, Matthewes' book provides an overview of religious ethics in three traditions without sacrificing the specificity of each ethical system. The author effortlessly enlightens the reader as to how Judaism, Christianity and Islam deals with highly relevant topics such as family, love, sexuality, lying, war, capital punishment and many more themes in a provocative and graceful manner."
Ebrahim Moosa, Duke University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405133524
  • Publisher: Wiley, John & Sons, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 5/10/2010
  • Series: Wiley Desktop Editions Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 280
  • Sales rank: 1,116,023
  • Product dimensions: 6.70 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Charles Mathewes is Associate Professor of Religious Ethics at the University of Virginia. He is the author of Evil and the Augustinian Tradition (2001), A Theology of Public Life (2007), and several edited volumes.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments vi

Introduction: Conviction and Argument 1

Part I Preliminaries 19

1 God and Morality 21

2 Jewish Ethics 38

3 Christian Ethics 53

4 Islamic Ethics 65

Part II Personal Matters 81

5 Friendship 83

6 Sexuality 91

7 Marriage and Family 106

8 Lying 118

9 Forgiveness 134

Part III Social Matters 145

10 Love and Justice 147

11 Duty, Law, Conscience 157

12 Capital Punishment 167

13 War (I): Towards War 182

14 War (II): In War 199

15 Religion and the Environment 209

Part IV The Last Things 223

16 Pursuits of Happiness: Labor, Leisure, and Life 225

17 Good and Evil 239

Conclusion: What's So Funny 'bout Peace, Love, and Understanding? 254

Notes 262

Index 270

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