Christian Ethics

Article excerpt

The Global Face of Public Faith: Politics, Human Rights, and Christian Ethics. By David Hollenbach. Georgetown University Press, 290 pp., $26.95 paperback. Christian ethics, like other theological disciplines, constantly rethinks its history in light of current problems. Hollenbach continues this effort with a focus on the tradition of Catholic moral theology. He sees Catholic social thought as the starting point for a social ethics that can be global and ecumenical without losing its Christian heritage or its relevance to American polities. His newest book continues to build the case for Christian political participation that he set out in The Common Good and Christian Ethics (Cambridge University Press, 2002).

American Protestant Ethics and the Legacy of H. Richard Niebuhr. By William Werpehowski. Georgetown University Press, 232 pp., $24.95 paperback. Werpehowski develops his reassessment of Protestant ethics by tracing H. R. Niebuhr's influence on four writers: Paul Ramsey, James Gustafson, Stanley Hauerwas and Kathryn Tanner. Taken together; Hollenbach and Werpehowski provide a comprehensive look at the discipline of Christian ethics, where it has conic from, and how it is developing.

Democracy and Tradition. By Jeffrey Stout. Princeton University Press, 348 pp., $35.00. Some of the most important writing in recent Christian ethics re-examines the relationship between Christianity and modern democracy. Jeffrey Stout finds the strength of American democracy in forms of piety and virtue that have religions roots, and he criticizes both secularist exclusions of religion and religions withdrawals from politics.

Bonds of Imperfection: Christian Politics Past and Present. By Oliver O'Donovan and Joan Lockwood O'Donovan. Eerdmans, 324 pp., $35.00 paperback. The O'Donovans take a more critical view of the relationship between Christianity and modern politics. They base their criticisms on a review of the whole history of Christian political thought, where they find important alternatives to modern understandings of political authority and Christian citizenship.

Performing the Faith: Bonhoeffer and the Practice of Nonviolence. By Stanley Hauerwas. Brazos, 252 pp., $19.99 paperback. Hauerwas has been the origin and focus of much of the present-day argument about the relation between Christianity and society. In his latest book he states his position in some new ways, placing it in relationship to the thought of others who have influenced and responded to his work. …