1st Edition

What is Religious Ethics? An Introduction

By Irene Oh Copyright 2023
    198 Pages
    by Routledge

    198 Pages
    by Routledge

    What is Religious Ethics? An Introduction is an accessible and informative overview to major themes and methods in religious ethics. This concise and lively book demonstrates the relevance and importance of ethics based in religious traditions and describes how scholars of religious ethics think through moral problems.

    Combining an issues-based approach with a model of studying ethics religion-by-religion, this volume examines pressing topics through a variety of belief systems—Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Sikhism—while also importantly spotlighting Indigenous communities. Engaging case studies invite readers to consider the role of religions with regard to issues such as:

    • CRISPR
    • Vegetarianism
    • Nuclear weapons
    • Women’s leadership
    • Reparations for slavery

    What is Religious Ethics? is a reliable and easily digestible introduction to the field. With chronologically structured chapters, discussion questions, suggestions for further reading, and interviews with scholars of religious ethics, this is an ideal guide to those approaching the study of religious ethics for the first time.


    1. Moral Authority and Moral Influence

    2. Biomedical Ethics

    3. Climate Change and the Environment

    4. Poverty and Wealth Disparity

    5. War and Violence

    6. Feminism, Sex, and Gender

    7. Race, Racism, and Christianity

    8. Who Are We? Diverse Voices in Religious Ethics




    Irene Oh is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Religion at the George Washington University, USA.

    "Irene Oh’s book provides a wonderfully clear introduction for students. I recommend it without reservation for courses dealing with religious approaches to moral and social issues."

    John Kelsay, Florida State University, USA

    "At a time when discussions about ethics often feel imprecise and debates over religious commitments heated, Irene Oh offers this even-handed and comprehensive account of how religion influences what we believe and how we live. Whether you consider yourself religious or not, reading What is Religious Ehics? is like having a seat in Irene Oh’s classroom. An accessible and thought-provoking introduction to religious ethics by a leading scholar in the field."

    Elizabeth Bucar, Northeastern University, USA

    "With clarity and concision, Irene Oh provides a sweeping overview of religious ethics, demonstrating its ancient roots and cutting-edge relevance. This book simultaneously attends to classic issues like authority and autonomy, as well as boldly addresses contemporary controversies like CRISPR, climate change and racism. A fantastic and much needed entree to the field."

    Jonathan K. Crane, Emory University – Center for Ethics, USA