The Responsible Self: An Essay in Christian Moral Philosophy

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Westminster John Knox Press, 1999 - Religion - 183 pages
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The Responsible Self was H. Richard Niebuhr's most important work in Christian ethics. In it he probes the most fundamental character of the moral life and it stands today as a landmark contribution to the field.

The Library of Theological Ethics series focuses on what it means to think theologically and ethically. It presents a selection of important and otherwise unavailable texts in easily accessible form. Volumes in this series will enable sustained dialogue with predecessors though reflection on classic works in the field.


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Preface by Richard R Niebuhr
On Christian Moral Philosophy
Responsibility in Society
The Responsible Self in Time and History
Responsibility in Absolute Dependence
Responsibility in Sin and Salvation

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About the author (1999)

H. Richard Niebuhr (1894-1962) was a prominent twentieth-century American theologian. He was Sterling Professor of Theology and Christian Ethics at Yale University Divinity School in New Haven, Connecticut. He is known for his books The Responsible Self and Radical Monotheism and Western Culture.

James M. Gustafson grew up in what he has called "an immigrant sectarian community" in Michigan. He served in Burma and India during World War II and received a B.S. from Northwestern University (1948), a B.D. from the University of Chicago (1951), and a Ph.D. from Yale University (1955). After serving as a pastor of a Congregational church, he taught at Yale from 1955 to 1972 and at the University of Chicago Divinity School from 1972 to 1987. Since then he has been Henry R. Luce Professor of Humanities and Comparative Studies at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. In his work, Ethics from a Theocentric Perspectiv (1981), Gustafson expresses his belief that the leitmotif of a theocentric ethics is that "we are to conduct life so as to relate all things in a manner appropriate to their relations to God." While his theological critics have argued that he pays more attention to philosophy, science, and experience than to Christian tradition, his philosophical critics might find that his religiosity escapes the standard criticisms of religious thought, for Gustafson takes modern science very seriously.

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