What is the good life? How do and should we make moral judgments? These questions are investigated through understanding what Orthodox theological reasoning contributes to ethical deliberation. Working from scriptural, liturgical, and theological sources, the unit asks what significance beliefs about key theological themes such as the doctrine of the Triune God, Christology, and theological anthropology, have for theological ethics.
A range of models for ethical decision making are considered in the light of these theological resources.

Unit code: DT8900A

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Foundational

Unit discipline: Moral Theology

Proposing College: St Athanasius College

Show when this unit is running

Learning outcomes


Demonstrate a critical understanding of the ethical significance of the sources of Orthodox Christian ethics


Evaluate and communicate key concepts in Orthodox Christian ethics.


Articulate an analysis of the concept of the ‘good life’ according to Orthodox Christian ethics.


Demonstrate an evaluation of contemporary ethical issues in the light of key concepts of Orthodox Christian ethics.


Demonstrate the capacity to research a specific topic in a critically rigorous, sustained and self-directed manner.

Unit sequence

no prerequisites


Mixed mode (lecture, seminar, discussion fora, blended learning)

Indicative Bibliography

  • Bobrinskoy, Boris. The Mystery of the Trinity : Trinitarian Experience and Vision in the Biblical and Patristic Tradition. Crestwood, N.Y.: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1999.
  • Breck, John, Lyn Breck, and St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary (Crestwood Tuckahoe Westchester County N.Y.). Stages on Life's Way : Orthodox Thinking on Bioethics. Foundations Series,. Crestwood, N.Y.: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 2005.
  • Cavarnos, Constantine. Holiness: Man's Supreme Destiny : Four Orthodox Homilies in Which Are Discussed the Concept of Holiness, Hunger for Holiness, and Striving for Holiness. 1st ed. Belmont, Mass.: Institute for Byzantine and Modern Greek Studies, 2001.
  • Curran, Charles E. and Lisa Fullam. Virtue. Readings in Moral Theology no. 16. Mahwah, N.J.: Paulist Press, 2011.
  • Giannaras, Chrēstos and Norman Russell. Person and Eros. Brookline, Mass.: Holy Cross Orthodox Press, 2007.
  • Guroian, Vigen. Incarnate Love : Essays in Orthodox Ethics. Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 1987.
  • Harakas, Stanley S. Toward Transfigured Life : The Theoria of Eastern Orthodox Ethics. Minneapolis: Light & Life Pub. Co., 1983.
  • Kotva, Joseph J. The Christian Case for Virtue Ethics. Moral Traditions & Moral Arguments. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 1996.
  • LeMasters, Philip. The Goodness of God's Creation : How to Live as an Orthodox Christian (a Guide to Orthodox Ethics). Salisbury, Mass.: Regina Orthodox Press, 2008.
  • Lossky, Vladimir. In the Image and Likeness of God. Crestwood, N.Y. ,: St. Vladimir's Seminary Press, 1974.
  • MacIntyre, Alasdair C. After Virtue : A Study in Moral Theory. 3rd ed. Notre Dame, Ind.: University of Notre Dame Press, 2007.
  • Mattison, William C. Introducing Moral Theology : True Happiness and the Virtues. Grand Rapids, MI: Brazos Press, 2008.
  • Staniloae, Dumitru. Orthodox Spirituality : A Practical Guide for the Faithful and a Definitive Manual for the Scholar. South Canaan, Pa.: St. Tikhon's Seminary Press, 2002.
  • Woodill, Joseph. The Fellowship of Life : Virtue Ethics and Orthodox Christianity. Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 1998.
  • Zizioulas, Jean and Gregory Edwards. The One and the Many : Studies on God, Man, the Church, and the World Today. 1st ed. Contemporary Christian Thought Series. Alhambra, California: Sebastian Press, 2010.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Essay 2800 40.0
Essay 4200 60.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Maggie Kappelhoff on 21 May, 2020

Unit record last updated: 2020-06-17 10:41:21 +1000