The Christian Case for Virtue Ethics

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240 pp., 6 x 9
ISBN: 9780878406210 (0878406212)

ISBN: 9781589014282

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January 1997
LC: 96-11856

Moral Traditions series


Table of Contents

The Christian Case for Virtue Ethics
Joseph J. Kotva Jr.
Despite the growing interest among philosophers and theologians in virtue ethics, its proponents have done little to suggest why Christians in particular find virtue ethics attractive. Joseph J. Kotva, Jr., addresses this question in The Christian Case for Virtue Ethics, showing that virtue theory offers an ethical framework that is highly compatible with Christian morality.

Kotva defines virtue ethics and demonstrates its ability to voice Christian convictions about how to live the moral life. He evaluates virtue theory in light of systematic theology and Scripture, arguing that Christian ethics could be profitably linked with neo-Aristotelian virtue ethics.

Ecumenical in tone, this book provides a thorough but accessible introduction to recent philosophical accounts of virtue and offers an original, explicitly Christian adaptation of these ideas. It will be of value to students and scholars of philosophy, theology, and religion, as well as to those interested in the debates surrounding virtue ethics.
Joseph J. Kotva Jr. received his doctorate in theology and ethics from Fordham University. He is pastor of the First Mennonite Church of Allentown, Pennsylvania.
James F. Keenan, SJ, Series Editor
"Anyone looking for a good book to read on the recent `return to virtue' in moral theory should begin with Kotva. Not only has he read everything that has been written on the subject but even more, he has read it well. His accounts of recent philosophical discussions are as interesting and well done as his constructive theological task. His use of Scripture is particularly noteworthy."—Stanley M. Hauerwas, Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theological Ethics, Duke University

"This excellent new book should be welcomed by readers looking for an introduction to virtue ethics, celebrated by those looking for an apology for virtue ethics, and prized by those looking for a constructive Christian account of virtue ethics."—Allen Verhey, The Evert J. and Hattie E. Blekkink Professor of Religion, Hope College

Table of Contents
Introduction: Christian Morality and Virtue Ethics

1. The Return to Virtue Ethics

2. What Is Virtue Ethics

3. Needed: A Christian Case for Virtue Ethics

4. Theological Links

5. Biblical Connections

6. Theological and Biblical Objections

7. Conclusion: An Appeal for a Christian Virtue Ethic