This critical study of Karl Barth's Christian theological ethics discusses Barth's controversial and characteristically misunderstood ethics of divine command. The surprising relation of his 'divine command ethics' to contemporary 'narrative theology' and 'virtue ethics' and specific moral themes concerning bonds between parents and children, the nature of truth telling, and the meaning of Christian love of God and neighbor are all discussed. This book reveals Barth's richness, depth, and insight, and places his work in constructive connection with salient themes in both Catholic and Protestant ethics. Attentive to the fullness of Barth's Christological vision and to the purposes and limits of his reflections on the Christian life in pursuit of the good, William Werpehowski also advances conversations in Christian ethics about the nature of practical deliberation and decision, the orientation and dispositions that embody moral faithfulness, and the question and features of 'natural morality.'
Table of Contents
Contents: Preface; Part I Divine Command, Narrative, and Ethics: Divine commands and philosophical dilemmas; Command and history; Narrative and ethics; Realism and discernment. Part II Virtue, Moral Practices, and Discernment: What shall parents teach their children?; In search of real children: innocence, absence and becoming a self; Love of God and the moral meaning of joy; Hiddenness, disclosure and the reality of God; Practical wisdom and integrity; Desire, reverence, and friendship; Index.
William Werpehowski is the Robert L. McDevitt, K.S.G., K.C.H.S. and Catherine H. McDevitt L.C.H.S Professor in Catholic Theology at Georgetown University, USA. He is the author of American Protestant Ethics and the Legacy of H. Richard Niebuhr (Georgetown, 2002), and co-editor of The Love Commandments: Christian Ethics and Moral Philosophy (Georgetown, 1992), The Essential Paul Ramsey (Yale, 1994), and The Oxford Handbook of Theological Ethics (Oxford, 2005).