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Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780192845528
Number of Pages: 224
Published: 26/08/2021
Width: 14.6 cm
Height: 22.3 cm
Does theological ethics articulate moral norms with the assistance of moral philosophy? Or does it leave that task to moral philosophy alone while it describes a distinctively Christian way of acting or form of life? These questions lie at the very heart of theological ethics as a discipline. Karl Barth's theological ethics makes a strong case for the first alternative. Karl Barth's Moral Thought follows Barth's efforts to present God's grace as a moral norm in his treatments of divine commands, moral reasoning, responsibility, and agency. It shows how Barth's conviction that grace is the norm of human action generates problems for his ethics at nearly every turn, as it involves a moral good that confronts human beings from outside rather than perfecting them as the kind of creature they are. Yet it defends Barth's insistence on the right of theology to articulate moral norms, and it shows how Barth may lead theological ethics to exercise that right in a more compelling way than he did.

Gerald McKenny (Walter Professor of Theology, University of Notre Dame)

Gerald McKenny is Walter Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame. His publications include Biotechnology, Human Nature, and Christian Ethics (Cambridge University Press, 2018), The Analogy of Grace: Karl Barth's Moral Theology (Oxford University Press, 2010), and To Relieve the Human Condition: Bioethics, Technology, and the Body (SUNY Press, 1997).

McKenny has clearly chosen to keep his focus tight and his interlocutors limited in number for the sake of clarity and brevity, however, and this has its own rewards. In this volume he has provided an accomplished exposition and criticism of Barth's moral thought which is sure to enliven the debate, and to clarify those aspects of Barth's legacy that remain essential for the purgation and further development of a distinctively Christian meta-ethic. * Andrew D. Bowyer, The Heythrop Journal *

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