Happiness and the Christian Moral Life: An Introduction to Christian Ethics

Front Cover
Rowman & Littlefield, 2008 - Religion - 257 pages
A second edition of this textbook is now available. Happiness and the Christian Moral Life suggests that the heart of Christian ethics are not elements such as laws and rules and principles and obligations, but is an ongoing initiation into a way of life capable of making a person good and therefore, happy. These elements are important, but they should never overshadow what ought to be the principal concern of Christian ethics: how to form us into people who love the good and seek it in everything we do. Paul Wadell re-envisions the basic elements of Christian morality in light of the conviction that the Christian moral life can be most promisingly described as 'training in happiness.' This book explores the place of friendship in the Christian moral life, the role of the virtues in our quest for happiness, a Christian understanding of the person, the meaning of freedom in the Christian life, and the importance of narrative for Christian ethics, including what it might mean to 'put on' the story that comes to us in Jesus. Also examined are the role of conscience and prudence, its primary virtue; a Christian understanding of love; and why in the Christian life, happiness is impossible without justice.
 

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Contents

Finding a Path for Life The Quest for Goodness and Happiness
1
Not Going It Alone Friendship and Community in the Christian Moral Life
23
Facing Shipwreck and Bandits Virtues and the Quest for Happiness
45
Every Persons Truth Made in the Image of God Called to Do the Work of God
69
Freedom Exploring a Dangerous Topic
93
False Steps on the Path to Happiness Losing Our Way and Finding It Back
113
Finding a Story Worth Handing On Narrative and the Moral Life
135
Doing What the Good Requires Conscience and Prudence in the Moral Life
165
The Gift That Makes All Gifts Possible Learning the Language of Love
195
Reimagining the World Why the Happiness of One Demands Justice for All
219
Index
245
About the Author
Copyright

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About the author (2008)

Paul J. Wadell is professor of religious studies at St. Norbert College. He specializes in Christian ethics and has taught in this field for twenty years. He has written several books on Christian ethics, including Becoming Friends: Worship, Justice, and the Practice of Christian Friendship and The Moral of the Story: Learning From Literature about Human and Divine Love.

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