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Christianity and Ethics A Handbook of Christian Ethics   By: (1855-1931)

Book cover

First Page:

E text prepared by Al Haines

Transcriber's note:

Page numbers in this book are indicated by numbers enclosed in curly braces, e.g. {99}. They have been located where page breaks occurred in the original book. For its Index, a page number has been placed only at the start of that section.

CHRISTIANITY AND ETHICS

A Handbook of Christian Ethics

by

ARCHIBALD B. D. ALEXANDER, M.A., D.D.

Author of 'A Short History of Philosophy,' 'The Ethics of St. Paul,' etc.

London: Duckworth & Co. 3 Henrietta St., Covent Garden 1914 All rights reserved

{v}

PREFACE

The object of this volume is to present a brief but comprehensive view of the Christian conception of the moral life. In order to conform with the requirements of the series to which the volume belongs, the writer has found the task of compression one of almost insurmountable difficulty; and some topics, only less important than those dealt with, have been necessarily omitted. The book claims to be, as its title indicates, simply a handbook or introduction to Christian Ethics. It deals with principles rather than details, and suggests lines of thought instead of attempting an exhaustive treatment of the subject. At the same time, in the author's opinion, no really vital question has been overlooked. The treatise is intended primarily for students, but it is hoped that it may prove serviceable to those who desire a succinct account of the moral and social problems of the present day.

A fairly full bibliography has been added, which, along with the references to authorities in the body of the work, may be helpful to those who wish to prosecute the study. For the convenience of readers the book has been divided into four sections, entitled, Postulates, Personality, Character, and Conduct; and a detailed synopsis of contents has been supplied.

To the Rev. W. R. Thomson, B.D. of Bellshill, Scotland, who read the chapters in type, and generally put at his disposal much valuable suggestion, the author would record his most sincere thanks.

{vii}

CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION

PAGE A PLEA FOR THE STUDY OF CHRISTIAN ETHICS . . . . . . . . . . 1

SECTION A POSTULATES

CHAPTER I

THE NATURE AND SCOPE OF ETHICS . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

I. General Definition. II. Distinctive Features 1. Ideal; 2. Norm; 3. Will. III. Is Ethics a Science? IV. Relation to 1. Logic; 2. Aesthetics; 3. Politics. V. Dependence upon 1. Metaphysics; 2. Psychology.

CHAPTER II

THE POSTULATES OF CHRISTIAN ETHICS . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

I. Philosophical Ethics. II. Dogmatics. III. Theological Presuppositions 1. Christian Idea of God. 2. Christian Doctrine of Sin. 3. Human Responsibility. IV. Authority and Method.

CHAPTER III

ETHICAL THOUGHT BEFORE CHRIST . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 36

I. In Greece and Rome Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Stoics. Stoicism and St. Paul. II. In Israel 1. Law; 2. Prophecy; 3. Poetry. Preparatory Character of pre Christian Morality.

SECTION B PERSONALITY

CHAPTER IV

THE ESTIMATE OF MAN . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55

I. Conflicting Views of Human Nature 1. Man by nature Morally Good. 2. Man by nature Totally Depraved. 3. The Christian View. II. Examination of Man's Psychical Nature 1. The Unity of the Soul. 2. The Divine in Man. 3. The Physical and Mental Life. III. Appeal of Christianity to the Mind.

CHAPTER V

THE WITNESS OF CONSCIENCE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 68

I. Treatment of Conscience 1. In Greek Poetry and Philosophy. 2. In Old Testament. 3. In New Testament. II. Nature and Origin of Conscience 1. Intuitionalism. 2. Evolutionalism. III... Continue reading book >>




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