In this unit students will explore Christian ethics as a way to understand and critically engage with the world and humankind in the light of the creedal affirmations of the Christian faith. Students will explore the way Christian convictions shape engagement with particular ethics issues facing society and our world, while also discussing weakness and confusions within some popular Christian approaches.

Students will focus on particular current social and ethical issues and will explore these at depth from a chosen approach to Christian ethics or moral theology from among: • Ecclesial Ethics • The Anglican Moral Tradition • Feminist Ethics • Liberation Ethics • Catholic Moral Tradition

Unit code: DT9109T

Unit status: Approved (Major revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Moral Theology

Proposing College: Trinity College Theological School

Show when this unit is running

Learning outcomes


Outline the principal approaches within Christian ethics


Describe the contribution of key Christian ethicists/moral theologians across the traditions


Appraise the strengths and weaknesses of particular Christian ethicists or moral theologians


Compare and contrast particular approaches in Christian ethics/moral theology


Evaluate and construct appropriate Christian responses to contemporary ethical issues of our time

Unit sequence

CT8100T Creeds (or equivalent) and one other CT or Field B unit


Lectures, seminars, class discussion

Indicative Bibliography

  • Biggar, N. The Hastening that Waits: Karl Barth's Ethics. Rev. ed. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995.
  • Black, R. Christian Moral Realism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.
  • Finnis, J. Natural Law and Natural Rights. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1980.
  • Hauerwas, S. and S. Wells, eds. The Blackwell Companion to Christian Ethics .Oxford: Blackwell, 2004. (recommended for purchase)
  • Hauerwas, S. The Peaceable Kingdom: A Primer in Christian Ethics. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1983.
  • Hauerwas, S. A Community of Character: Toward a constructive Christian social ethic. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press, 1981.
  • Hays, R.B. The Moral Vision of the New Testament—Community, Cross, New Creation: A Contemporary Introduction to New Testament Ethics. Harper: SanFrancisco, 1996. (recommended for purchase)
  • Holmgren, S. Ethics after Easter. Cambridge, Mass.: Cowley, 2000.
  • Hoose, B., (ed.) Christian Ethics: An Introduction. London: Cassell, 1998.
  • Keenan, James F. Virtues for Ordinary Christians. Kansas: Sheed & Ward, 1996.
  • Parsons, S.F. Feminism and Christian Ethics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996.
  • Porter, Jean. The Recovery of Virtue. London: SPCK, 1994.
  • Spohn, W. What are they Saying about Scripture and Ethics. New York: Paulist Press 1995.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)

Essay of 2,500 words

2500 30.0

2 Reports (equiv. 1,500 words)

1500 20.0

Essay of 3,000 words

3000 50.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by John Capper on 8 Oct, 2019

Unit record last updated: 2021-06-07 08:43:50 +1000